Oxford Immunotec grabs remnants of Colorado rival for a bargain

In the year since Oxford Immunotec Global ($OXFD) successfully went public to propel the rollout of its new tuberculosis test, the company has carved out time for a strategic acquisition, and it's a relative bargain.

The U.K. and Massachusetts operation said it snatched up most of the assets of Colorado's Boulder Diagnostics, gaining access to intellectual property for at least three rheumatology and infectious disease tests under development. Oxford Immunotec closed the deal on July 31, paying $1.8 million up front, with as much as $6.1 million in milestone payments possible down the line. The grand total if all those cash payments come through: $7.9 million.

With the deal, Oxford Immunotec gets intellectual property behind SpiroFind, which helps diagnose Lyme disease both at the early stage and later in its progression. Another test--GoutiFind--is designed to diagnose gout. The third, Stratokine, is an assay that helps to select treatments for autoimmune disease by monitoring patients' response to medications, the company said.

All of these fit in well with Oxford Immunotec, which is focused on developing immunology-related diagnostic tests. CEO Peter Wrighton-Smith said in a statement that the deal gives his company "three additional early-stage pipeline opportunities" that mesh with the company's "growing commercial infrastructure" and involves complementary immune-measuring technology for rheumatology.

Specifically, Oxford Immunotec sees the tech as a great fit for its T-SPOT platform, which is designed to measure T-cell responses to help diagnose, monitor and give prognoses for patients with immunology-related diseases. Execs are already using the system for the company's T-SPOT.TB test, which screens for latent tuberculosis infection and has premarket approval from the FDA, a CE marking in Europe, and regulatory signoffs in approximately 50 other countries.

Last fall, Oxford Immunotec launched an IPO that raised about $64 million. The company recently reported 2014 second-quarter revenue of $11.8 million, 16% higher than the $10.2 million in revenue booked over the same period last year. The biggest revenue gains came from the United States. Net losses soared to $6.2 million during the quarter, or $0.36 per share, versus a $1 million, or $0.42 per share loss over the same period last year. Higher losses come as the company ramps up its commercial infrastructure with hiring of sales and marketing employees, plus greater spending on research and development.

- read the release
- here's the company's earnings announcement

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