DIAGNOSTIC DEALS

Diagnostic Deals: A Roundup of the Key Mergers, Acquisitions, Alliances, Licenses and Other Strategic Transactions From the Past Month

The pace of diagnostic deal making picked up from the end of March through mid-April. Here’s a quick overview of the activity and key deals made during the period.

Mergers & Acquisitions and Asset Sales
The M&A highlight was the announcement of the year’s third nine-figure deal, namely Thermo Fisher Scientific’s $1.7 billion acquisition of Brammer Bio, a leader in viral vector manufacturing for gene and cell therapies. The deal, which is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of 2019, will strengthen Thermo Fisher’s presence in the pharma and biotech markets.

In addition to the other deals listed below, there was news regarding a previously announced acquisition. The UK government’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), a department in charge of promoting competition and reducing anti-competitive activities in the UK, has launched an investigation into Illumina’s planned acquisition of Pacific Biosciences.

This deal, announced last fall and initially scheduled to close mid-year, is valued at approximately $1.2 billion. CMA is considering whether the acquisition will likely result “in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.” Illumina and PacBio haven’t commented on the CMA investigation.

Strategic Alliances
Among new alliances is a collaboration between Thermo Fisher Scientific and NX Prenatal aimed at developing clinical mass spectrometry-based proteomics tests to monitor fetal health in utero and assess the risk of adverse events like preterm birth and preeclampsia.

There were also two new alliances that involve Google. Genomenon, a genomic search company, is partnering with Google to offer genomic data technology on Google Cloud Platform. Parabricks, a provider of GPU-based bioinformatics software solutions for analyses of next-generation sequencing data, has entered into a similar arrangement to use Google Cloud Platform.

In addition to alliances noted in the chart:

  • Qiagen announced that Lab Corp has joined its Day-One lab readiness program, which is designed to expedite the commercial launch of new drugs and in vitro diagnostic tests being developed by Qiagen and its partners once FDA approval is obtained; and
  • Primerdesign, the molecular testing division of French diagnostics firm Novacyt, has extended its sepsis assay development contract with Seattle-based Immunexpress.

Here’s a summary of key diagnostic deals from late March through mid April:

MERGERS, ACQUISITIONS & ASSET SALES
Acquiring Company Target(s) Deal Summary
Thermo Fisher Scientific Brammer Bio
  • Price: $1.7 billion cash
  • Status: Expected to close Q2 2019
  • Contract development and manufacturing organization for viral vectors used in gene and cell therapies to become part of TF’s pharma services business within lab products and services segment
Covance Drug Development (part of LabCorp) Envigo
  • Price: $485 million to be paid by LabCorp
  • Status: Expected to close by June 2019
  • Covance to acquire Envigo’s nonclinical research services business + Envigo’s Research Models Services to buy LabCorp’s Covance Research Products business
Yourgene Health Elucigene
  • Price: £9.2 million ($12.0 million), including £6.3 million in cash + £2.9 million in equity in stock (24.6 million new shares issued at 11.7 pence per)
  • Status: Agreement to buy with no closing date announced
  • Yourgene to fund acquisition boosting its presence in bolster its presence in noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) market by selling roughly 97.5 million new shares at 10.25 pence apiece to raise £10 million (which Yourgene board may increase to £11.8 million)
Precision Therapeutics Helomics
  • Price: Precision issued 4 million shares of common stock and 3.5 million shares of Series D convertible preferred stock to Helomics capital stock holders after previously issuing them1.1 million common shares
  • In related exchange offer, Precision issued about 8.6 million additional shares of common stock to previous holders of Helomics promissory notes + about 14.2 million warrants at exercise price of $1.00 per share + 600,000 warrants at an exercise price of $.01 per share to previous warrant holders
  • Status: Closed
  • Helomics made Precision’s wholly-owned sub
  • Precision gets full access to Helomics’ AI, precision medicine and integrated CRO assets
Sienna Cancer Diagnostics Sevident
  • Price: $300,000 cash + $1 million worth of Sienna new ordinary shares + up to $1.5 million in contingent future payments
  • Status: Closed
  • Sienna acquires Sevident’s NET molecular capture platform for isolating and capturing molecular and cellular biomarkers from small clinical blood samples
Discovery Life Sciences (DSL) (resident associate company of HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology) HudsonAlpha’s Genomic Services Lab (GSL)
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Status: Closed
  • Form new division called HudsonAlpha Discovery combining GSL’s expertise with DLS’s global biospecimen and analytic services to provide clinically and scientifically annotated biospecimens, gene sequencing, bioinformatics and lab services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and diagnostics industries
Guardant Health Bellwether Bio
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Status: Expected to close in April 2019
  • Bellwether Bio team to advance Guardant’s LUNAR early detection product pipeline
STRATEGIC ALLIANCES, PARTNERSHIPS & COLLABORATIONS
Partner 1 Partner(s) 2+ Deal Summary
Thermo Fisher Scientific NX Prenatal
  • Objective: Develop mass spectrometry-based proteomics assays for adverse pregnancy outcomes
  • Dynamic: Combine NX’s NeXosome technology with Thermo Fisher’s liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry instrumentation to create tests to monitor fetal health in utero and assess risk of premature birth and other adverse outcomes
Genomenon Google
  • Objective: Offer genomic data technology on Google Cloud Platform
  • Dynamic: Genomenon’s variants reference datasets to be available in Google’s BigQuery data warehouse
Parabricks Google
  • Objective: Offer genomic data technology on Google Cloud Platform
  • Dynamic: Parabricks to launch new software suite for primary and secondary analysis of sequencing data on Google Cloud Platform Marketplace
Onegevity Health Kirin Holdings
+
Mitsui
  • Objective: Launch Onegevity’s GutBio assay + other products in Japan
  • Dynamic: Licensing agreement which also provides for using Onegevity’s AI-based platform to develop unique nutritional products
Genetic Technologies Translational Genomics Research Institute
  • Objective: Commercialize Genetic Tech’s polygenic risk tests in US
  • Dynamic: Create joint US-based CLIA lab to offer tests, including BrevaGenplus breast cancer risk assessment test + future oncology, cardiovascular disease and diabetes tests
FH Foundation Invitae
+
Genome Medical
  • Objective: Improve diagnosis of HoFH (homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia)
  • Dynamic: Launch new genetic testing program called FIND HoFH in which Invitae will provide free confirmatory genetic testing and Genome Medical free genetic counseling to individuals identified as needing HoFH evaluation
XCR Diagnostics NeuMoDx Molecular
  • Objective: Develop assays for NeuMoDx’s new PCR-based molecular systems
  • Dynamic: Chemistry license under which XCR to develop and implement 3 assays for NeuMoDx’s 96 and 288 systems, starting with multiplex test for Group A Streptococcus and Group C/G Streptococcus using latter’s NeuDry reagents for 2019 launch in Europe
Evotec Indivumed
  • Objective: Develop new precision therapeutics for colorectal cancer
  • Dynamic: 2-year alliance. Indivumed to apply Evotec’s PanHunter bioinformatics analysis platform and drug discovery technologies to a colorectal cancer cohort from its IndivuType database
  • Evotec to pay Indivumed undisclosed amount for access to cohort and have responsibility for programs and platforms resulting from collaboration
CoaguSense Point of Care Decision Support
  • Objective: Improve anticoagulant therapy healthcare workflow and decision-making
  • Dynamic: Partnership leveraging PCDS’ evidence-based anticoagulation software and CoaguSense’s PT2 PT/INR Monitoring system
Somalogic Janssen Research & Development
  • Objective: Discover and validate protein markers to predict, diagnose, monitor and treat rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus + cardiovascular and metabolic conditions
  • Dynamic: Use Somalogic’s SomaScan proteomics platform to analyze clinical samples for Janssen
  • Latest example of Somalogic’s business model switch from fee-for-service to collaboration
iCubate Wondfo Biotech
  • Objective: Commercialize infectious disease molecular diagnostics in China
  • Dynamic: Form new China joint venture called Wondfo-iCubate Biotech to develop assays using iCubate amplicon-rescued multiplex PCR (arm-PCR) technology
VolitionRx Fosun Long March Medical Science
  • Objective: Launch VolitionRx’s NuQ blood-based cancer diagnostic platform in China
  • Dynamic: Collaborate to test NuQ platform in 3 clinical studies in China in colorectal, lung and ovarian cancer
  • Fosun Long March to help VolitionRx obtain and test blood samples for studies
22nd Century Group KeyGene
  • Objective: Develop cannabis plants with enhanced properties for medical use
  • Dynamic: Each firm to use its genomic, molecular genetics, trait discovery and breeding technologies to optimize the cannabinoid profiles of different cannabis varieties
  • Firms to create a genetic database of cannabis lines + high-resolution map of cannabis genome
Centene Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
  • Objective: Accelerate research of treatments for Alzheimer’s, breast cancer, diabetes and obesity
  • Dynamic: Centene to contribute up to $100 million over 10 years to fund research at School’s Personalized Medicine Initiative
  • University to contribute research and biomedical capabilities, including CRISPR and other technologies, as well as scientists in microbiome, immunomodulatory therapies, cancer genomics, neurodegeneration, cellular reprogramming, chemical biology and informatics
  • Products yielded by collaboration to be commercialized via a joint venture called the ARCH Personalized Medicine Initiative
Yikon Genomics Center for Reproductive Health & Gynecology (CRHG)
  • Objective: Launch Yikon Genomics’ non-invasive chromosomal screening assay for aneuploidy
  • Dynamic: Firms to make test, which uses next-generation sequencing to screen embryos before implantation, available for commercial clinical services through a joint CLIA-certified genetics lab at CRHG
Myriad Genetics AstraZeneca
+
Merck
  • Objective: Develop companion diagnostics for olaparip (Lynparza)
  • Dynamic: Expansion of current collaboration (which began in 2007) to use Myriad’s BRACAnalysis CDx to identify men with metastatic, castrate-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) + germline BRCA mutation likely to respond to the drug
  • Myriad also to file supplementary premarket approval application with FDA for use of BRACAnalysis CDx as companion diagnostic for drug for that patient population
Genome Medical Renown Health
  • Objective: Advance research into genetic causes of diseases
  • Dynamic: Genome to provide genetic counseling and education services to study participants as part of Renown’s Healthy Nevada Project
Shivom Family Care Path
  • Objective: Provide Family Care Path’s MyLegacy web-based clinical decision support application to Shivom customers
  • Dynamic: Shivom to use its online app technology to make MyLegacy available to customers who want to schedule genomic counselling sessions
AiLife Diagnostics BGI Americas
  • Objective: Develop clinical whole-genome sequencing test to diagnose genetic disorders
  • Dynamic: Combine BGI’s DNBseq NGS technology with AiLife’s A-GPS, I-GPS, and D-GPS pipelines for NGS analysis, interpretation and reporting
Cellgen Diagnostics Genomic Testing Cooperative
  • Objective: Offer companion diagnostic development services to cancer immunotherapy developers
  • Dynamic: Combine Cellgen’s cartridge assay-based molecular diagnostics platform with GTC’s biomarker discovery technologies to create new service for pharma customers for biomarker discovery and validation + in vitro diagnostic companion assay development
Chembio Diagnostics Perseus Science Group
  • Objective: Develop diagnostic test for concussion
  • Dynamic: Perseus to provide undisclosed funding amount to Chembio to develop a quantitative point-of-care test for concussion that combines Perseus’ concussion biomarker with Chembio’s DPP platform
Bluejay Diagnostics US Naval Medical Research Center
  • Objective: Develop non-invasive point-of-care test for early-stage detection of Lyme disease
  • Dynamic: Two-year cooperative research and development agreement to study antigens associated with various pathogens and identify the most immunoreactive antigen + use information to develop rapid test for detecting pathogen antigens in biofluids, including serum and urine
NanoString Leica Biosystems
  • Objective: Create research workflow integrating NanoString’s GeoMx Digital Spatial Profiling (DSP) instrument with Leica’s Bond RX autostainer
  • Dynamic: Comarketing agreement allowing Leica to promote GeoMx technology to its Bond RX customers, and NanoString will to promote the Bond RX system to its GeoMX DSP customers
NanoString Bio-Techne
  • Objective: Create a workflow for spatial genomics research
  • Dynamic: Combine Bio-Techne’s RNAscope reagent portfolio with NanoString’s GeoMx RNA assays and digital spatial profiling instrument
  • NanoString also to provide RNAscope research services via its GeoMx DSP Technology Access Program
LifeMap Sciences Genomenon
  • Objective: Enable researchers using GeneCards to more easily identify relevant literature associated with genes, diseases and variants
  • Dynamic: Integrate Genomenon’s Mastermind Genomic Search Engine into LifeMap’s GeneCards knowledge base
Circuit Clinical University of Buffalo
  • Objective: Circuit Clinical to leverage UB’s genomics and biorepository resources for its drug-discovery services
  • Dynamic: Partnership allowing Circuit Clinical to collect, store and process blood, tissue and bodily fluids through UB biorepository for genomic sequencing and microbiome studies in a value-sharing model
Definiens Ultivue
  • Objective: Develop immuno-oncology research offerings that combine each firm’s multiplexed immunofluorescence (IF) immunohistochemistry and digital image analysis technologies
  • Dynamic: First products to be based on UltiMapper kit panels for PD-1 and PD-L1
  • Plan is to expand to a novel 8-plex IF immuno-oncology panel
Covance (owned by LabCorp) Mission Bio
  • Objective: Offer single-cell DNA analysis services to Covance biopharm customers on Mission Bio’s Tapestri single-cell platform
  • Dynamic: Firms also plan to evaluate platform for development of companion diagnostics
ArcherDx University College London (UCL)
+
Francis Crick Institute
  • Objective: Lung cancer research
  • Dynamic: Use ArcherDx’s anchored multiplex PCR (AMP) technology to detect disease recurrence in lung cancer patients from cell-free circulating tumor DNA as part of UCL-sponsored Tracking Lung Cancer Evolution Through Treatment (TRACERx) study
Mayo Clinic Laboratories Breath Diagnostics
  • Objective: Develop tests that use patient breath samples to identify biomarkers that can predict various diseases
  • Dynamic: Build test on Breath Diagnostics’ OneBreath microreactor technology to capture specific cancer biomarkers from a single breath and provide results in less than 24 hours
Group K Diagnostics US Centers for Disease Control
  • Objective: Evaluate prototype reverse transcriptase loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) assay for point of care detection of Zika virus (ZIKV) RNA
  • Dynamic: Group K contributing its expertise in microfluidic point-of-care testing + logistical demands in resource-limited areas
Horizon Discovery Group St. George’s University Hospital (London)
+
European Molecular Genetics Quality Network (EMQN)
  • Objective: Develop reference material for non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT)
  • Dynamic: Horizon to provide expertise in development of genetically defined, cell line-derived reference material
  • St. George’s to provide clinical samples
  • EMQN to run comprehensive validation study using its global network of labs performing NIPT
DISTRIBUTION, SALES & MARKETING AGREEMENTS
Property Owner Distributor Deal Summary
Todos Medical Orot+
  • Products: Todos’ TM-B2 breast cancer screening blood tests
  • Territory: Romania + Austria
  • Exclusive
Oncimmune Sabartech
  • Products: Oncimmune’s EarlyCDT-Lung lung cancer test
  • Territory: Portugal
  • Sabartech made exclusive distributor with minimum sales commitment of £700,000 ($911,619) over 5 years
  • Firms also extend Sabartech’s distributorship agreement in Spain from 3 to 5 years
Curetis A. Menarini Diagnostics
  • Strategic long-term deal making Menarini exclusive distributor of Curetis products in Germany, France, Benelux, UK, Switzerland, markets in which Curetis previously sold directly
  • Menarini also made exclusive distributor in Italy, Spain, Portugal, in which Curetis sold thru local company distributors
  • Menarini also to commercialize Curetis Unyvero cartridge-based multiplex PCR molecular diagnostics platform in Sweden
LICENSES
Licensor Licensee Deal Summary
ArcDia International Xinhua Healthcare Industry
  • Property: ArcDia’s MariPOC biochemical testing platform
  • Exclusive deal limited to China under which ArcDia also to provide Xinhua with research and development services
Banyan Biomarkers Abbott
  • Property: Banyan’s traumatic brain injury (TBI) blood biomarkers, including ubiquitin carboxyl terminal hydrolase-L1 and glial fibrillary acidic protein
  • Non-exclusive
SUPPLY, SERVICE & TESTING AGREEMENTS
Supplier/Servicer Client/User Deal Summary
Abcam NanoString
  • Abcam to provide NanoString antibodies for use with its GeoMx Digital Spatial Profiler (DSP) platform
Quest Diagnostics Regional Medical Center (Orangeburg, SC)
  • Quest to provide full lab management services, including lab equipment, supplies and procurement processes
NEW CLINICAL STUDIES
DX Partner Other Partner(s) Description of Study
DNAnexus Sutter Health network
+
University Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS) research study in which scientists at the Sutter Health Center for Precision Medicine scientists will add clinico-genomic data from over 3,000 patients to the DNAnexus Apollo platform, and the Genome Center at UPMC will generate clinical-grade genomic data from samples from program participants
Natera Amal Therapeutics
  • Clinical trial to test Signatera, Natera’s bespoke circulating tumor DNA assay to assess treatment response in late-stage colorectal cancer patients as well as Amal’s cancer vaccine, ATP128, in combination with a PD-1 inhibitor in patients with stage IV colorectal cancer
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