U.K.'s Consort Medical mulls Dx expansion

A U.K. medical device company focused on making respiratory inhalers is mulling investments or acquisitions in the diagnostics space and has set aside a $151 million bank loan to fuel dealmaking when the time is right.

Bloomberg reports that Consort Medical is revving up for potential investments in the space (with an eye also on drug-handling companies, which fill devices with drugs) in order to diversify its product line. Inhalers used to deliver respiratory drugs generate 90% of Consort's revenue. If needed, there is also room to seek shareholder backing to raise more money depending on the particular acquisition, CEO Jonathan Glenn told the news agency.

"If we find the right deal, the capacity is there," Glenn is quoted as saying.

One clue to the company's possible way forward: Consort's 19% stake in Atlas Genetics. The U.K. developer of point-of-care tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea raised a $27.3 million Series B funding round in July 2011, and Atlas was one of the investors. As the article notes, Consort plans to make test cartridges for Atlas once the diagnostic tests gain approval. Glenn told Bloomberg the company could seek a similar kind of investment/acquisition deal to boost its manufacturing contracts in the space.

Diagnostics is big business, with molecular and companion diagnostics development driving major growth in the sector. Consort could find itself with a savvy way in, making components for diagnostics company products as their business explodes in the years ahead.

- here's the Bloomberg story


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