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M&A Report: Biosynex Looks to Snag Theradiag

by | Sep 30, 2022 | Essential, Inside the Lab Industry-lir, Laboratory Industry Report

A roundup of key mergers, acquisitions, and strategic asset purchases in the healthcare industry in September.

Biosynex Makes Takeover Bid for Theradiag

Buoyed by the success of its rapid self-test products, Biosynex has made a bid to acquire fellow French diagnostics firm Theradiag. Biosynex already owns 25.07 percent of Theradiag’s shares and 25.16 percent of its voting rights. The takeover bid targets all remaining shares and voting rights. The proposed purchase price of €2.30 ($2.24 per share) is 59 percent over Theradiag’s closing share price on Sept. 22, and 44 percent above its volume-weighted average share price for the previous 60 days before the offer.

It's a friendly bid. Theradiag’s board of directors has unanimously taken “a favorable stance” on the offer and appointed an independent expert to deliver an opinion on the fairness of its financial terms. Because it’s a voluntary takeover bid, Biosynex doesn’t intend to resort to its “squeeze out” rights that would compel Theradiag’s shareholders to sell their shares at the end of the offer period.

Illumina Digs in to Defend Grail Purchase

The Illumina-Grail saga continues. After threatening Illumina with massive fines, the European Commission (EC) handed down its decision banning the San Diego-based company’s acquisition of Grail on anti-competition grounds. Illumina acquired its former spinout for $8 billion last August, closing the deal without securing the EC’s regulatory approval. It’s now holding Grail as a separate company pending the resolution of the regulatory issues in the US and Europe.

But Illumina isn’t backing down. While expressing disappointment with the EC decision, Illumina said that it plans to appeal. “We continue to believe, this merger is pro-competitive and will accelerate innovation,” stated Illumina general counsel Charles Dadswell in a press release.

Meanwhile, Illumina said that it has scored a legal victory on this side of the Atlantic when a US administrative law judge issued an initial (and, as yet, unreported) decision dismissing the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) antitrust complaints in regards to the Grail deal.

But the legal battle with the FTC is far from over. Illumina also faces a high-risk and uphill battle in seeking reversal of the EC ruling.

GADx Acquires Tropical Disease Assay from Bio-Rad

Global Access Diagnostics (GADx) announced that it has acquired the rights to manufacture a rapid test for a neglected tropical disease from Bio-Rad Laboratories for an undisclosed price. The technology transfer agreement covers IT-LEISH, a test used to diagnose visceral leishmaniasis, a disease transmitted by phlebotomine sandflies that can be fatal when not diagnosed and treated. According to a GADx statement, the test has been independently verified as the most sensitive test available on the market, especially in East African and South American settings.

GADx plans to leverage its expertise in lateral flow development and manufacturing to restart manufacture of IT-LEISH. The UK company will keep the current suppliers and offer the test at an affordable cost, including smaller-scale production batch sizes to meet the needs of neglected tropical disease (NTD) markets. The firm is a signatory on the Kigali Declaration, which aims in part to mobilize political will to support NTD test development and access. Mark Davis, CEO of GADx R&D, said in a statement that the company is "committed to prioritizing the development and manufacture of lateral flow devices for NTDs." Without the continued manufacture of the IT-LEISH, a World Health Organization roadmap for NTDs would be under threat, Davis said.

"Over the past decade, Bio-Rad has ensured the availability of this rapid test for the detection of antibodies against Leishmania," noted Davis. "By acquiring the legal manufacturing responsibility for IT-LEISH from Bio-Rad, we are upholding this pledge and keeping a vital test accessible to the market whilst contributing towards the diagnosis and elimination of [visceral leishmaniasis]."


Here’s a summary of the other key M&A diagnostic deals that were signed or closed in September 2022:

Mergers, Acquisitions, & Asset Sales

Acquiring CompanyTarget(s)Deal Summary
RocheGood Therapeutics• Price: $250 million cash
• Status: Closed
• Acquisition boosts Roche’s bid to bolster its immuno-oncology efforts with Seattle biotech's preclinical PD-1-regulated IL-2 program
• Roche to be fully responsible for global development and commercialization of a PD1-regulated IL-2 receptor agonist program, with the rest of Good Therapeutics’ assets to be shifted to a new spinout called Bonum Therapeutics
Beckman Coulter Life Sciences (subsidiary of Danaher)ValitaCell Ltd.• Price: Undisclosed
• Status: Closed
• Danaher subsidiary acquires Irish biotech that creates analytical products and technologies for biopharma industry
BioIVTFidelis Research• Price: Undisclosed
• Status: Closed
• Provider of drug discovery research models acquires Bulgarian biospecimen firm
SapphirosFlexotronix• Price: Undisclosed
• Status: Closed
• Sapphiros acquires developer of a high-speed printed electronics manufacturing line, including a process to manufacture innovative lateral flow formats
HeskaLightDeck Diagnostics• Price: $38.7 million
• Status: Agreement to acquire expected to close in H1 2023
• Heska acquires developer of a planar waveguide fluorescence immunoassay point-of-care testing system, which played a key role in development of Heska's own Element i+ immunodiagnostic platform
LesaffreRecombia Biosciences• Price: Undisclosed
• Status: Closed
• Acquisition of genome engineering firm advances Lesaffre’s “strategy to invest heavily in research and development to unlock the full potential of microorganisms, such as yeast or beneficial bacteria"
Flagship BiosciencesInterpace Biosciences• Price: Undisclosed
• Status: Closed
• Flagship acquires Interpace’s Pharma Services business
• Interpace to use proceeds of transaction for working capital requirements and investments to drive growth of its molecular diagnostics business
• Divestment of pharma services business expected to improve Interpace’s operating cash flow by nearly $5 million per year
Aptar PharmaMetaphase Design Group, Inc.• Price: Undisclosed
• Status: Closed
• Acquisition bolsters Aptar’s ability to become a single source provider to its pharma and biotech customers

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