bioMérieux, an in vitro diagnostics company, has acquired BioFire Diagnostics, a privately-held U.S.-based company specialized in molecular biology. BioFire invented, manufactures and commercializes its multiplex PCR FilmArray system, a simple and rapid molecular biology solution dedicated to the diagnosis of infectious diseases.
FilmArray contributes to improving patient care and reducing healthcare spending. By further stimulating sales of this system and expanding its menu, bioMérieux intends to strengthen the company’s position in infectious disease diagnostics.
BioFire has developed, produced and marketed automated molecular biology systems, including LightCycler, licensed to Roche Diagnostics. BioFire, which specializes in in PCR technology, recently developed FilmArray, a syndromic approach to infectious diseases. This new medical approach is based on analyzing a syndrome and, with a single reagent, identifying the disease-causing organisms responsible for this syndrome, whether they are viruses or bacteria.
The FilmArray system represents a key asset in the development of bioMérieux’s franchise in infectious disease diagnostics, which accounts for 85% of sales in clinical applications. On the basis of ongoing R&D, FilmArray should make it possible to detect over 70 disease agents responsible for respiratory, gastrointestinal and blood infections within the next three years.
BioFire has facilities for R&D, manufacturing and commercialization based in Salt Lake City. With over 500 employees, BioFire should generate $70 million in sales in 2013, including $40 million from FilmArray, with a current operating loss before non-recurring items of $7 million due to R&D investments ($18 million) and expenditures to ramp up the commercial launch of FilmArray.
bioMérieux will acquire 100% ownership of BioFire for $450 million and the company’s net financial debt. The deal is expected to close by the end of the fiscal year or in early 2014 and consequently will not have a significant impact on sales and current operating income before non-recurring items in 2013.