bioMerieux-hdqtrsbioMérieux, Marcy l’Etoile, France, with US headquarters in Durham, NC, has entered into an agreement to acquire BioFire Diagnostics Inc, Salt Lake City, a privately held company that specializes in molecular biology.

bioMérieux intends to expand the menu of BioFire’s multiplex PCR FilmArray® system, a simple and rapid molecular biology solution that provides diagnosis of infectious diseases.

“FilmArray is the only system that makes it possible to detect disease-causing viruses and bacteria using a single reagent, says Jean-Luc Belingard, chairman and CEO, bioMérieux. “As such, it eliminates the borders between different technologies, simplifying the diagnosis of infectious diseases and delivering faster results for better patient care.”

Under the terms of the agreement, bioMérieux will acquire 100% ownership of BioFire. The transaction will include a $450 million acquisition price and the company’s net financial debt. Completion of this deal remains subject to usual closing conditions, including certain regulatory approvals.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the fiscal year or in early 2014.

Established more than 2 decades ago, BioFire has developed, produced, and marketed a number of automated molecular biology systems, including LightCycler®, which is licensed to Roche Diagnostics.

FilmArray offers a syndromic approach to infectious diseases, based on analyzing a syndrome (ie, a set of symptoms) and, with a single reagent, identifying the disease-causing organisms responsible for this syndrome, whether they are viruses or bacteria. The closed system integrates all molecular diagnostics steps into a single process: sample preparation, amplification, detection, and analysis of results.

On the basis of ongoing R&D, FilmArray should make it possible to detect more than 70 disease agents responsible for respiratory, gastrointestinal, and blood infections within the next 3 years.

The two companies present powerful strategic synergies.

FilmArray is the ideal addition to bioMérieux’s differentiated position in molecular biology, which is based on the easyMAG® extraction system and the ARGENE range.

bioMérieux will contribute its capabilities to the automation of reagent production, optimizing manufacturing costs.

The company recently entered into a partnership with Quanterix for ultrasensitive and multiplex immunoassays.

BioFire’s site will become bioMérieux’s hub for its expansion in molecular biology.

[Source: bioMérieux]