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bioMérieux acquires BioFire Diagnostics
by Kelsey Kaustinen  |  Email the author


MARCY L'ETOILE, France—In-vitro diagnostics company bioMérieux has announced the signing of an agreement for the acquisition of privately held BioFire Diagnostics Inc., a Salt Lake City-based company specializing in molecular biology. The acquisition, and pursuant access to BioFire's PCR FilmArray system, is expended to help bioMérieux strengthen its position in the field of infectious disease diagnostics.
Per the terms of the agreement, bioMérieux will acquire 100 percent ownership of BioFire for $450 million, as well as BioFire's net financial debt. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including certain regulatory approvals. The deal is expected to close by the end of fiscal 2013 or early 2014.  
"We could not have found a better shareholder than bioMérieux, world leader in clinical and industrial microbiology. This is an exciting next step in the evolution of BioFire, and it will allow us to achieve our mission of helping to make the world a healthier and safer place and to continue to support our biodefense customers in the United States Department of Defense and allied forces," Kirk Ririe, CEO and founder of BioFire, said in a press release. "bioMérieux's commercial network will further boost sales of our flagship product, FilmArray. In addition, the Company's unique know-how in the field of infectious diseases will contribute to the development of new panels, creating very attractive prospects for the future."  
Acquisition costs for bioMérieux are expected to total 6 million euros (approximately $7.8 million), and the transaction will be funded through indebtedness. No details were released as to whether bioMérieux expects any synergies from the acquisition, but revenue from BioFire is forecasted to boost bioMérieux's sales by roughly $80 million on a full-year basis. Given the company's plans to push the BioFire product line commercially, the transaction is expected to be dilutive to current operating income before non-recurring items in 2014 and 2015.  
BioFire's multiplex PCR FilmArray system is a simple, rapid molecular biology solution that provides a syndromic approach to diagnosing infectious diseases.  The system analyzes a syndrome—a set of symptoms—and uses a single reagent to identify the disease-causing organisms responsible for that syndrome, be they viruses or bacteria. In addition, FilmArray combines all molecular diagnostics steps into a single process. BioFire's first commercially launched solution on the system is a respiratory panel that can test for 20 viruses and bacteria, with results in an hour.
A sepsis panel for the system gained U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval at the end of June, and development is underway for a gastrointestinal panel and a meningitis panel. BioFire is expected to see sales of $70 million in 2013, $40 million of which is expected to result from FilmArray.
With 85 percent of bioMérieux's sales in clinical applications coming from infectious disease diagnostics, BioFire and the FilmArray system will allow it to further grow its expertise and footprint in this area. And with bioMérieux's commercial network, BioFire's offerings can be further developed and more widely marketed.  
"The acquisition of BioFire fits perfectly into bioMérieux's selective strategy for external growth. Following the AES purchase, which strengthened our leadership in industrial applications, the purchase of ARGENE, which showed very strong organic growth of 31 percent at the end of June 2013, as well as our recently signed partnership with Quanterix in ultrasensitive and multiplex immunoassays, this new acquisition represents a decisive step for our company," Jean-Luc Belingard, chairman and CEO of bioMérieux, commented in a statement. "It enables us to reinforce our infectious disease franchise, our main area of specialization. FilmArray is the only system that makes it possible to detect disease-causing viruses and bacteria using a single reagent. As such, it eliminates the borders between different technologies, simplifying the diagnosis of infectious diseases and delivering faster results for better patient care.
"On all our markets, we now have a complete portfolio of particularly innovative technologies with two key benefits: enhanced medical value of diagnostics and optimized workflows in medical laboratories. The Salt Lake City BioFire 's site will become our hub for our expansion in molecular biology. We are especially pleased to welcome the talented employees of BioFire, who will work in close collaboration with bioMérieux teams at our Grenoble and Verniolle sites," Belingard concluded.    
SOURCE: bioMérieux press release
Code: E09041301



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