ITC, Accumetrics merge with eye on global cardiovascular Dx

Point-of-care cardiovascular diagnostics makes an intriguing consolidation move with news that a major player in the space is buying a rival, and that the combined entity is relaunching under a new name.

Piscataway, NJ-based ITC Nexus Holding Company ($ITC) says it snatched up San Diego, CA-based Accumetrics. Neither side disclosed financial terms, though the announced details reflect more of a merger mentality than an outright buy. Plans call for a post-M&A name change to "Accriva Diagnostics," and execs will locate the combined corporate headquarters in San Diego.

Each side gains here by joining forces. By linking their collective offerings, they stay current in a rapidly changing diagnostics industry. The field is becoming a more complex, prolific and institutionalized part of modern healthcare in general, and Big Pharma in particular, as diagnostic tests to gauge the success of specific treatments become more commonplace.

ITC, launched more than 40 years ago, focuses, in part, on diagnostics products in areas including blood gas/electrolyte and chemistry, plus CO-oximetry and oximetry testing. The company has grown organically and, through previous acquisitions, became a wholly owned Thoratec ($THOR) subsidiary in 2001 and has been owned by a Warburg Pincus-led investment team since 2010, according to its website. ITC CEO John Sperzel said in a statement that the deal establishes many more point-of-care opportunities for ITC's coagulating testing and Accumetrics' platelet-function testing.

"The combination … creates a leading hospital-based POC cardiovascular diagnostics business," Sperzel said in a statement.

Accumetrics, which is privately held, is probably best known for its VerifyNow system, which rapidly tests patients' reaction to anti-clotting drugs. And the diagnostic has already helped shape the reputation of some of the major drugs out there. Accumetrics CEO Timothy Still told the New York Times a few years back, for example, that his test showed the Bristol Myers-Squibb ($BMY)/Sanofi ($SNY) anticlotting drug Plavix didn't work to its potential in a third of patients using the blockbuster drug. Rival Eli Lilly ($LLY) began touting the test in its bid to get Plavix patients to switch to its own drug, Effient. Accumetrics promotes VerifyNow as working with "every major antiplatelet drug" (including aspirin). And so with the merger, an influential test gains a larger compatible company behind it to boost marketing and further development around the world.

"Combining Accumetrics with ITC provides the best opportunity to accelerate the global adoption of the VerifyNow system," Still said in a statement.

Merger "integration," meanwhile, is under way. Once everything is complete, ITC's Sperzel will serve as CEO of the renamed Accriva, and Accumetrics CFO Greg Tibbitts will keep his CFO slot under the new arrangement.

- read the release

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