Avacta Group plc, a life sciences company developing targeted oncology drugs and diagnostics, has acquired Coris Bioconcept SRL.

Avacta’s diagnostics division is employing an M&A-led strategy with the aim of broadening access to high-quality diagnostics. The strategy is focused on both acquiring routes into the diagnostics market and appropriate IP-rich product portfolios. The first acquisition, Launch Diagnostics, in October 2022 provides the group with a well-established route to market in the centralized professional healthcare market, primarily in the UK and France. 

Coris, based in Gembloux, Belgium and established in 1996, develops, manufactures, and markets rapid diagnostic test kits, mainly lateral flow tests, for use by healthcare professionals. 

Coris’ product portfolio comprises diagnostic tests for respiratory, gastro-enteric, and blood-borne pathogens (bacteria, viruses, and parasites) and for the detection of antibiotic resistance markers. As part of this portfolio, Coris markets a COVID-19 lateral flow test. Due to this, Avacta has taken the commercial decision to halt the redevelopment of its own AffiDX SARS-CoV-2 antigen lateral flow test.

The existing Coris management team will remain with the business and work closely with Avacta Diagnostics businesses to drive growth and margins through improved distribution channels and an expanded product range. Avacta will transfer its lateral flow product development activities to Coris and support that activity through ongoing development of Affimer reagents for new products or to enhance existing ones.

“The acquisition of Coris provides the group with a broad, professional-use rapid test product portfolio,” says Dr Alastair Smith, chief executive officer, Avacta Group plc. “Complementing the acquisition of Launch Diagnostics last year, the acquisition represents an important step in establishing a full-spectrum in-vitro diagnostics business covering centralized, pathology laboratory diagnostics, as well as decentralized, point-of-care testing solutions outside the hospital setting.

“Antibiotic resistance is a major global challenge and we strongly believe that the market for antimicrobial resistance (“AMR”) testing is one with good future growth prospects. We are particularly pleased, therefore, to have added an AMR product portfolio to the Group with this acquisition.

“With this acquisition, our diagnostics division has taken another important step towards realizing its mission to support healthcare professionals and broaden access to high-quality diagnostics.”