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Going primetime with real-time PCR
August 2012
by Kelsey Kaustinen  |  Email the author


AUSTIN, Texas—Luminex Corp. has announced the signing of a definitive agreement with privately held GenturaDx, under which it will acquire the molecular diagnostics company. Per the terms of the agreement, Luminex will purchase all of GenturaDx's outstanding shares for $50 million in cash, subject to working capital reconciliation, as well as potential additional contingent consideration based on product revenue performance and/or the achievement of certain future milestones. Luminex expects the acquisition to be dilutive in 2012, and expects it to add roughly $6 million to its operating expenses in 2012, excluding acquisition-related expenses.  
GenturaDx is currently developing a fully integrated, highly automated, real-time PCR system that utilizes a single-use cassette for sample-to-answer workflow. The system is currently in late-stage development, and the combination of GenturaDx's PCR system with Luminex's MultiCode-RTx chemistry is expected to produce a market-leading system for molecular diagnostic testing.
"We are excited to have the opportunity to address the needs of a large market by expanding our instrument portfolio and integrating our MultiCode-RTx assays with this innovative platform," Patrick J. Balthrop, president and CEO of Luminex, said in a press release. "This acquisition accelerates the development of integrated sample processing capabilities for our technology, and aligns with our mission to reduce healthcare costs and improve clinical outcomes by providing innovative and affordable solutions to today's clinical laboratories. The acquisition of GenturaDx builds on our strategic investments to date and positions the company to deliver ongoing growth by increasing our product portfolio, expanding our market opportunities and leveraging our leadership position."  
GenturaDx's patented cartridge design offers automated sample extraction, amplification and detection, allowing for improved testing throughput while it reduces hands-on time, turnaround times and sample handling. The system enables users to run a variety of assays on up to 12 patients' samples simultaneously. Luminex is expecting that a variety of assays that can be used with the system will be commercially available by early 2014.  
"Our proprietary technology provides a unique and unmatched alternative to current sample automation for PCR technology," Mark N.K. Bagnall, president and CEO of GenturaDx, said in a press release. "I am confident that Luminex will recognize significant strategic and economic benefit from this acquisition and am pleased that our expertise and technology will help to fuel continued growth of an established industry leader like Luminex."  
Timothy Dehne, vice president of global marketing at Luminex, says the company had been looking for a PCR platform of their own, as they had been running their assays using other company's systems. The acquisition, he notes, provides Luminex with its own system, and also provides them with a sample-to-answer system, which Dehne says "was a gap in our product line and in the marketplace." Dehne notes that at least for the short-term, Luminex will continue GenturaDx's research and development and production operations "to help us with a focus on getting this product to market in early 2014."
"If you think about the breadth of solutions that we can give to customers now, we can provide full-plex, real-time solutions that are sample-to-answer, we can provide diagnostic products that are higher plex, multiplex products that can do panel tests … and we can provide protein analysis or nucleic acid analysis with our x-map forms," says Dr. Jeremy Bridge-Cook, senior vice president of research and development at Luminex. "What we feel excited about is that we've lined up a very good breadth of solutions, both for the life-sciences research market and the diagnostic market, to serve our customers better, to provide us with lots of menu opportunities for the future."
Code: E081213



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