The deal: BioMérieux buys BioFire Diagnostics
The price tag: $450 million
Why it matters: French diagnostics developer bioMérieux's purchase of Utah's BioFire Diagnostics consolidates its position in infectious disease testing in one fell swoop. There are big plans afoot--bioMérieux Chairman and CEO Jean-Luc Bélingard said he sees BioFire's Salt Lake City, UT, headquarters and its 500-plus employees as a base from which to grow a larger molecular diagnostics presence. Until the purchase, bioMérieux had been best known globally for its in vitro diagnostics products. Before its acquisition, BioFire had been growing rapidly on its own and had raised a $45 million cash infusion earlier in 2013 to help fuel the commercial rollout of its FilmArray Diagnostic platform. Its first panel is a respiratory test designed to look at 20 viruses and bacteria in 60 minutes and already has FDA clearance and CE mark. Other FilmArray tests for sepsis, diarrhea, meningitis and pneumonia are following, and the company has another automated molecular test it licensed to Roche Diagnostics ($RHHBY). BioFire, a 20-year-old outfit known originally as Idaho Technology, will keep its identity in the new arrangement and gets to tap into bioMérieux's 500-person global sales force to help reach a broader audience for its products.
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