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

Good news for any of you who slept through December 2017: You didn’t miss much—at least as far as blockbuster strategic deals in the clinical laboratory space are concerned.

In contrast to December2016, the final month of 2017 was short on new deals with most of the action representing closings of transactions announced earlier in the year, headlined by the Dec. 21 closing of PerkinElmer’s $1.3 billion acquisition of Euroimmun, the year’s fifth biggest M&A deal.

One significant piece of new business was the announcement that Genoptix has agreed to acquire Rosetta Genomics for $10 million in cash. The year 2017 was a rough one for Rosetta. After layoffs, divestment of its PersonalizeDx firm less than two years after acquisition and continued threat of Nasdaq delisting for failure to meet the exchange’s $1 minimum bid requirement, it probably makes sense for the firm to be absorbed as a wholly owned subsidiary of Genoptix. The deal also makes tons of sense for Genoptix, which acquires Rosetta’s RNA-based technology assets.

Meanwhile, the market continues to feel the shakeout from the Abbott-Alere deal of October. Quidel was one of the beneficiaries of the merger, picking up the B-type naturietic peptide (BNP) assay business that Alere had to divest to clear the way for the Abbott merger. But on Nov. 27, Beckman Coulter filed a legal challenge to Quidel’s exclusive rights to sell the assay, which runs on Beckman Coulter’s analyzers, asking a California federal court to declare its right to sell the assay to its own customers. For its part, Quidel has declared its intention to fight back and defend its exclusive sales rights.

Impetus for strategic activity in the labs sector is also being supplied by another major M&A deal—Becton Dickinson’s planned acquisition of CR Bard. In December, BD announced that it has agreed to sell its soft tissue core needle biopsy products to Merit Medical Systems to secure antitrust clearance for the Bard deal.

Strategic Alliances
One of the most significant trends in 2017 alliance-making, namely, collaboration between labs and the biopharma sector, continues to predominate. Notable new examples from late November/early December include:

  • A $2.9 billion, 18-month venture between AstraZeneca and Chembio Diagnostics to develop a quantitative, reader-based point-of-care test leveraging the latter’s dual-path-platform immunoassay technology; and
  • A collaboration between Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Genomic Health to evaluate the effectiveness of the latter’s Oncotype DX Genomic Prostate Score in identifying patients who would benefit from prostate cancer drugs in Janssen’s R&D pipeline.

Another of 2017’s big alliance trends, product integration, was also well represented. For example, two months after announcing integration of its Face2Gene NGS phenotyping products with Ambry Genetics’ AmbryPort 2.0 clinical ordering system, FDNA announced a similar deal involving testing and interpretation services from PreventionGenetics;

Here’s a graphic summary of the key diagnostic deals from late November through December:

Acquiring Company Target(s) Deal Summary
PerkinElmer Euroimmun Medical Laboratory Diagnostics
  • Price: Approximately $1.3 billion cash
  • Status: Closing of deal announced in June
  • Acquisition of Euroimmun, recognized as a global leader in autoimmune testing and emerging force in infectious disease and allergy testing, expands PerkinElmer’s reach into autoimmune and allergy diagnostic markets, and enables it to offer "new infectious disease capabilities to customers in China,” according to company spokesman
Skyline Medical Helomics
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Skyline to acquire equity stake of up to 25% in Helomics
  • In November, Skyline and Helomics partnered on deal to develop new personalized cancer diagnostics using the Helomics D-Chip platform
Genoptix Rosetta Genomics
  • Price: $10 million cash, approximately $0.60 per outstanding share to be financed via $1.8 million bridge loan
  • Status: Expected to close Q1 2018  
  • Rosetta to become wholly-owned sub of Genoptix
Siemens Healthineers Fast Track Diagnostics
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Status: Agreement reached with no closing date announced
  • Siemens acquires over 80 platform-agnostic assays and syndromic panels to its Siemens’ Versant kPCR Molecular System test menu
  • Target to continue operating under FTD name
Quest Diagnostics Shiel Medical Laboratory (from Fresenius Medical Care)
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Status: Closing of deal announced in October
  • Deal doesn’t include Spectra Labs, Fresenius’ dialysis lab services business
  • Sides also agree to leverage Quest’s lab data analytics to identify early-stage chronic kidney disease patients who may benefit from treatment to slow progression to end-stage renal disease
VANC Pharmaceutical HealthTab
  • Price: $200,000 (US$157,471) cash paid to HealthTab’s vendors, including C$100,000 at closing + balance in 6 later installments
  • Status: Signed shared purchase agreement to acquire all HealthTab common shares—no closing date announced
  • HealthTab is a Canadian POC pharmacist platform for cholesterol, triglyceride and other testing
StatLab Medical Products American MasterTech Scientific
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Status: Closed
  • Texas-based provider of histology, cytology and immunohistochemistry diagnostic supplies acquires supplier of specialty lab products, including stains for cancer diagnosis
Orig3n Interleukin Genetics
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Status: Closed
  • Acquisition, which includes Interleukin’s CLIA-certified lab, is culmination of Interleukin’s planned asset liquidation announced in July
  • Orig3n also acquires IP rights to Illustra, Interleukin’s controversial genetic test for severe gum disease
Avista Capital Partners Miraca Holdings
  • Price: $175.6 million
  • Status: Closing of deal announced in Sept.
  • Avista acquires Miraca Life Sciences, which will be owned by new holding company called Symphony Buyer
  • MLS parent company Miraca Holdings to own 15% of Symphony Buyer’s shares
Roche Diagnostics Viewics
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Status: Closed
  • Roche acquires privately held lab business analytics company
Merit Medical Systems Becton Dickinson
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Status: Contingent on closing of BD’s acquisition of CR Bard
  • BD asset sell off is part Bard acquisition
  • Merit acquires soft tissue core needle biopsy products that BD sells under Achieve Programmable Automatic Biopsy System, Temno Biopsy System and Tru-Cut Biopsy Needles trade names
  • Merit to also acquire Aspira Pleural Effusion Drainage Kits and Aspira Peritoneal Drainage System currently marketed by Bard
Partner 1 Partner 2 Deal Summary
Chembio Diagnostics AstraZeneca
  • Objective: Develop point-of-care diagnostic test to detect undisclosed biomarker
  • Dynamic: 18-month agreement under which AstraZeneca to provide up to $2.9 million in funding for Chembio to develop quantitative, reader-based POC test leveraging its patented dual-path-platform immunoassay technology
Lucence Diagnostics AstraZeneca Singapore
  • Objective: Provide women in Singapore with ovarian cancer better access to BRCA testing
  • Dynamic: AstraZeneca to subsidize the testing to be performed by Lucence via its clinical lab
Roche Diagnostics Horizon Discovery
  • Objective: Develop immunohistochemistry reference standards for oncology assays
  • Dynamic: Deal leverages previous partnership with Roche sub Ventana Medical Systems to develop cell line derivative material for use as reference standards in diagnosing cancer tissue
Drawbridge Health   Thorne Research
  • Objective: Improve blood collection tools
  • Dynamic: Thorne Research and its sub WellnessFX to get access to Drawbridge Health’s technology for integrating blood draw, collection and sample stabilization into single device
Ortho Clinical Diagnostics Sphingotec
  • Ortho to use Sphingotec’s Sphingotest Bio-ADM heart failure immunoassay on its automated Vitros immunodiagnostics and integrated systems
Hummingbird Diagnostics BGI (previously known as the Beijing Genomics Institute)
  • Objective: Develop tests for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other diseases
  • Dynamic: Leverage Hummingbird’s miRNA database and expertise in sample preparation alongside BGI’s BGISEQ sequencer and analysis pipeline
Genomic Health Janssen Pharmaceuticals
  • Objective: Evaluate Genomic Health’s Oncotype DX Genomic Prostate Score as predictor of response to prostate cancer drugs in Janssen’s pipeline
  • Dynamic: Genomic Health to test samples from studies Janssen is conducting to examine association of GPS results with clinical outcomes
Genomic Health Cleveland Diagnostics
  • Objective: Develop prostate cancer tests based on Cleveland Diagnostics’ IsoPSA reagents and technology
  • Dynamic: Genomic Health to initially focus on developing high-PSA reflex test for predicting presence of high-grade cancer before prostate biopsy
  • Genomic Health gets exclusive global rights to develop and commercialize early- and late-stage cancer diagnostic tests
Agendia University Hospitals Leuven (Belgium)
  • Objective: Validate in vitro diagnostic kit version of Agendia’s MammaPrint and BluePrint breast cancer assays
  • Dynamic: UZ Leuven to process breast tumor samples from patients in study using NGS-based MammaPrint BluePrint Kit
  • Agendia to compare results with those from the existing microarray-based MammaPrint test performed at its Amsterdam lab
Agendia Institut Curie (France)
  • Objective: Validate in vitro diagnostic kit version of Agendia’s MammaPrint and BluePrint breast cancer assays
  • Dynamic: Agendia to compare results from samples processed at Institute’s diagnostics core facility using new NGS kit, to results from existing CE-marked microarray-based test performed at its Amsterdam lab
Biocartis Amgen
  • Objective: Develop companion diagnostic assay for Biocartis Idylla RAS biomarker tests
  • Dynamic: Biocartis to seek FDA premarket approval for Idylla KRAS Mutation Test and Idylla NRAS-BRAF Mutation Test for use as companion diagnostic tests for Amgen’s Vectibix (panitumumab)
ExpreS2ion Biotechnologies (Denmark) Institut VirionSerion (Germany)
  • Objective: Evaluate new in vitro diagnostic candidates produced using ExpreS2 platform
  • Dynamic: Virion gets access to platform for doing evaluation as well as commercial rights to rights to promote, sell and distribute protein antigens produced via platform
NantHealth University of California, San Francisco
  • Objective: Metastatic breast cancer research
  • Dynamic: UCSF researchers to use NantHealth’s GPS Cancer molecular analysis test to conduct study on samples collected by NantHealth
FDNA PreventionGenetics
  • Objective: Product integration
  • Dynamic: PreventionGenetics integrates its testing and interpretation services with FDNA’s Face2Gene NGS phenotyping products
  • Similar to September deal in which FDNA announced integration of Face2Gene with Ambry Genetics’ AmbryPort 2.0 clinical ordering system
Biocept University of California, San Diego
  • Objective: Clinical validation study of Biocept’s Target Selector PD-L1 assay in patients diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer
  • Dynamic: UCSD researcher to lead 100-patient trial evaluating assay in NSCLC patients using two antibody clones for PD-L1 detection (28-8 and 22C3)
AroCell (Sweden) Green Cross Cell (South Korea)
  • Objective: Develop AroCell’s TK 210 ELISA as complementary test for Green Cross Cell’s therapeutic products
  • Green Cross Cell gets distribution rights to test
Sciex National University of Singapore’s Protein and Proteomics Center
  • Objective: 2018 launch of proteomics and mass spectrometry training center in Southeast Asia
  • Dynamic: New venture expands collaboration that has existed between the two since 2000
Property Owner Distributor Deal Summary
Eone-Diagnomics Genome Center Cordlife
  • Product: Eone’s Gen Screen non-invasive prenatal test
  • Territories: Indonesia and Philippines
BioMérieux McKesson Medical Surgica
  • Products: BioMérieux’s Vidas BRAHMS PCT, Bact/Alert and Fan Plus Media,
  • Territory: US
  • Expansion of previous distribution agreement to US community hospitals
Bio.logis Genetic Information Management PGS.Holland
  • Product: Bio.logis’ Genetic Information Management Suite
  • Territories: BeNeLux, Scandinavia and UK
Mesa Biotech Sekisui Diagnostics
  • Product: Mesa Biotech point-of-care molecular system for flu A/B
  • Territories: US and Canada
  • Exclusive
Thermo Fisher Scientific Genome Diagnostics
  • Product: Thermo Fisher’s Applied Biosystems QuantStudio real-time PCR systems
  • Territory: GenDx becomes global reseller
  • Non-exclusive
Mobidiag Interlux
  • Products: Mobidiag’s Amplidiag product line
  • Territory: Estonia
  • Exclusive
NanoString Technologies SAM Laboratory (sub of Clearbridge Health)
  • Products: NanoString’s Prosigna breast cancer prognostic gene signature assay
  • Territories: Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines
  • Exclusive
  • Clearbridge to also distribute Prosigna on non-exclusive basis in rest of Asia
MDxHealth Ferrer
  • Product: MDx Health’s SelectMDx for Prostate Cancer test
  • Territory: Spain
  • 5-year exclusive
BioDiscovery  Be Creative Lab
  • Products: Include BioDiscovery’s NxClinical 4.0 software system
  • Territory: China
  • Exclusive
Licensor Licensee Deal Summary
Integrated DNA Technologies Aldevron
  • Property: IDT’s patented SpyFi Cas9 Nuclease protein mutant
  • Aldevron to manufacture and distribute protein for research, clinical and commercial uses
ERS Genomics Charles River Laboratories
  • Property: ERS Genomics’ CRISPR-Cas9 patent
  • Scope: Global
  • Non-exclusive
Ncardia Evotec
  • Property 1: Ncardia’s patented technology for stem cell modeling
  • Evotec right to use for target discovery, drug efficacy and safety testing immunolabeled long process structures
  • Scope: Global
  • Non-exclusive
Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR) (Singapore) Inex Innovations Exchange
  • Property: A*STAR’s non-invasive prenatal testing technology
  • Exclusive
Supplier/Servicer Client Deal Summary
Helomics Ariel Precision Medicine
  • Helomics to serve as the clinical CLIA lab for Ariel’s PancreasDx pancreatic disease
Bluebee (Netherlands) Agendia
  • Bluebee to provide data processing services for NGS-based kit version of Agendia’s molecular breast cancer diagnostics
Chembio Diagnostics Bio-Manguinhos
  • Bio-Manguinhos to buy $8.5 million worth of Chembio’s HIV and Leishmania POC immunoassays
OraSure Technologies (via its DNAG Genotek sub) Unnamed consumer genomics firm
  • $143 million deal to supply Oragene Dx saliva-based DNA collection devices
  • Multi-year deal is larger than DNAG’s $128.2 million in revenue for all of 2016

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