CAPITAL

Grifols Takes 20 percent Stake in Singulex

Grifols, the Spanish biotech firm, has taken a 20 percent stake in a California- based laboratory for $50 million. The deal is among the latest involving overseas businesses taking stakes in laboratories in the United States, or vice versa.

.In exchange for the cash infusion, Grifols will have an exclusive license to use Singulex, Inc.’s platform for screening of blood donors and blood plasma. The platform, known as SMC for single molecular counting, claims to be able to find biomarkers for diseases that were not previously identifiable. Singulex is planning to roll out a platform focused on laboratory diagnostics that will be marketed to reference and hospital labs.

Singulex, which is based in the Bay Area city of Alameda, holds six patents for using troponin biomarkers to evaluate a patient’s cardiac health. The presence of troponin in the blood is an indication of heart muscle damage. The company’s investors include Fisk Ventures, OrbiMed Healthcare Fund Management, Prolog Ventures and JAFCO.

“As one of the world’s leaders in the manufacturing of plasma products to treat a variety of rare, chronic and life-threatening conditions, safety and screening of donated human blood and plasma is critical for Grifols,” said Carsten Schroeder, President of Grifols’ diagnostic division, in a statement. “Singulex’s … technology and leadership in next generation immunodiagnostics presents Grifols with the diagnostic sensitivity, accuracy and reliability to develop more advanced blood screening platforms.” Singulex did not release any specific plans for the capital infusion from Grifols.

Takeaway: The continued globalization of the U.S. diagnostics market is demonstrated by Grifols taking a stake in lab startup Singulex.

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