Going with the flow

Oral fluid diagnostics provider DNA Genotek scooped up by OraSure

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BETHLEHEM, Pa.—In late July, OraSure Technologies Inc. made it knownthat it was in the process of acquiring privately held DNA Genotek Inc., aCanadian provider of oral fluid sample collection, stabilization andpreparation products for molecular diagnostic applications. DNA Genotek is aleading provider of oral fluid collection devices to the direct-to-consumerpersonal genetics testing market.
  The deal closed on Aug.17, and cost OraSure just under $51 million incash in U.S. currency.
The purchase strengthens OraSure's position in oral fluid diagnostics byproviding OraSure with a complementary portfolio of products that enable easyand reliable collection, stabilization, transportation and storage ofhigh-quality nucleic acid (DNA and RNA) samples. These samples can then be usedfor a wide range of diagnostic and research applications.
DNA Genotek blazed its own trail in the nucleic acid collection marketwith products that provide substantial advantages over traditional methods suchas blood or buccal swabs, including the reliable collection of high-qualitygenetic samples using a simple, non-invasive method and the ability to transportand store collected samples for extended periods at ambient temperatures.
Products in DNA Genotek's portfolio include a saliva test that candetect a biomarker related to nicotine dependence.
"We targeted entry into the $4 billion molecular diagnostics marketgiven the magnitude and rapid growth profile of the segment," said DouglasA. Michels, president and CEO of OraSure Technologies, in a prepared statement."Our companies share a common capability and passion to developbest-in-class oral fluid-based solutions. Since 2004, DNA Genotek has postedimpressive financial revenue growth and profitability, and we fully expect thatsolid performance to continue."
Company representatives did not respond to questions posed to them forthis story.
"Joining forces with OraSure at this time will be instrumental intaking DNA Genotek to the next level. Together, we will have the ability tocapitalize more quickly on the tremendous opportunity in the rapidly growingmolecular research and clinical diagnostic markets," comments Ian Curry,president and CEO of DNA Genotek. "Our companies both endeavor to providehigh-quality, non-invasive sample collection devices, and the combination ofour resources will significantly enhance our ability to deliver industry-leadingsolutions to our customers.
"The two organizations are complementary from a technology and peopleperspective," Curry continues. "We have been impressed with the leadership atOraSure and look forward to working closely with them."
In a letter to customers, Curry said DNA Genotek will operate as awholly owned subsidiary of OraSure and maintain all of its operations inOttawa, Canada, keeping the company's team and structure intact.
DNA Genotek serves more than 3,000 customers in approximately 100countries worldwide, including many of the top research universities andhospitals in the United States. DNA Genotek's lead product, the Oragene DNAsample collection kit, provides an all-in-one system for the collection,stabilization, transportation and purification of DNA from saliva. DNA Genotekproducts are used in the academic research, clinical genetic testing,pharmacogenomics, personalized medicine, animal genetics and livestock geneticsmarkets. The company says it has realized significant revenue growth over thepast four years, and has been profitable in both operating and net income eachyear during that period.
OraSure Technologies is a leader in the development, manufacture anddistribution of oral fluid diagnostic devices and other technologies designedto diagnose critical medical conditions and diseases. Its innovative productsinclude rapid tests for the detection of antibodies to HIV and HCV at the pointof care and testing solutions for detecting various drugs of abuse. Theseproducts enable healthcare providers to deliver critical information topatients, empowering them to make decisions to improve and protect theirhealth. OraSure's products are sold globally to various clinical laboratories,hospitals, clinics, community-based organizations and other public healthorganizations, distributors, government agencies, physicians' offices andcommercial and industrial entities.

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