Passing the transplantation diagnostics torch

Immucor acquires LIFECODES business from Hologic Inc.

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NORCROSS, Ga.—Reportedly combining best-in-class transfusiondiagnostics and best-in-class transplantation diagnostics, Immucor Inc., aprovider of automated instrument-reagent systems to the blood transfusionindustry, announced in January a definitive agreement to acquire the LIFECODESbusiness, which includes a leading position in transplantation diagnostics,from Hologic Inc.
Under the terms of the agreement, Immucor will purchase theoutstanding shares of the LIFECODES business for $85 million in cash, plus anearn-out provision totaling $10 million in cash based on the achievement ofcertain financial targets in calendar 2013. The transaction is subject to thesatisfaction of customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatoryapprovals, and is expected to close in the first calendar quarter of this year.
The addition of LIFECODES is expected to strengthenImmucor's position in the global in-vitrodiagnostics market by creating a single source for transfusion- andtransplantation-related testing.
"The LIFECODES business is recognized as a worldwide leaderin transplantation diagnostics," noted Immucor in announcing the acquisitionplans, "which represents a $400 million market that is growing at mid-to-highsingle digits."
"Everything we do at Immucor is about helping anyone whoneeds blood get the right blood safely. The LIFECODES business will extend ourmission to organs and stem cells," said William A. Hawkins, president and CEOof Immucor, in announcing the deal. "The clear market advantage here is thatcustomers anywhere in the world will have a single source for provendiagnostics that has a core competency in antigen typing and antibody screeningand identification."
For its part, Hologic—a developer, manufacturer and supplier of premium diagnostics,medical imaging systems and surgical products dedicated to serving thehealthcare needs of women—sees the sale of LIFECODES as a kind of newbeginning.
Hologicacquired the LIFECODES business unit as part of its acquisition of Gen-ProbeInc., which was completed in August 2012. LIFECODES sells molecular andantibody-based assays in the markets of transplant diagnostics, specialtycoagulation and transfusion medicine, but from the start it was not necessarilyseen as a good fit with Hologic. In fact, the company notes that the sale ofLIFECODES was taken into consideration when the Hologic issued financialguidance for fiscal year 2013 on Nov. 12, 2012.
"Oursale of LIFECODES will enable Hologic to focus our resources on diagnosticsopportunities that are more in line with our fundamental growth strategies,"said Rob Cascella, president and CEO of Hologic, in announcing the plans tosell LIFECODES. "We are committed to reducing our debt balance and plan to useproceeds from the sale of LIFECODES for that purpose."
Accordingto Immucor, the LIFECODES business is much like Immucor itself in thatit "represents 30 years of specialty diagnostic innovation, including molecularmethods, to better serve laboratories in the United States andinternationally."
Also like Immucor, The LIFECODES business specializes inpre-transplant human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing and screening to ensure themost compatible match between patient and donor, as well as post-transplantpatient monitoring to aid in the identification of graft rejection, Immucornotes, and LIFECODES also offers other immune-monitoring products.
"We are excited to welcome LIFECODES to the Immucor team,"said Hawkins. "Hospital labs and blood banks rely on best-in-class technologyand support to improve their operations, and achieve better healthcareoutcomes. With the LIFECODES acquisition, Immucor will be well-positioned tohelp both transfusion centers and HLA labs anywhere in the world improvepatient safety by ensuring the most compatible transfusion andtransplantation."
Neither Hologic nor Immucor could be reached for additionalcomment about the acquisition.

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