NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Japanese diagnostic firm Sysmex will buy a 34 percent equity stake in bioMérieux’s Japanese subsidiary as part of an agreement to form a joint venture that will market bioMérieux’s in vitro diagnostics products in Japan.
The joint venture, which will hold the name Sysmex bioMérieux, will market bioMérieux’s entire product line in Japan beginning April 1. Prior to the agreement, bioMérieux’s Japanese operations were managed by its wholly owned subsidiary bioMérieux Japan.
The JV will manage regulatory filing and marketing activities for bioMérieux’s products while Sysmex has been contracted to handle sales and customer service activities.
Stéphane Bancel, CEO of bioMérieux, said that bioMérieux Japan had been “lacking scale in several critical functions like commercial operations and customer service.”
Bancel noted that Sysmex is currently the leading diagnostics company in the Japanese market, while bioMérieux Japan is “number 19 in the Japanese IVD market.”
As a result, he said, the agreement is expected to “bring bioMérieux’s innovative products to a broader Japanese customer base.”
BioMérieux said the Japanese microbiology testing market is around $30 billion yen ($274 million).
The agreement builds on a global partnership the companies began in July 2007, when bioMérieux agreed to distribute Sysmex’s automated UF-1000i urine sediment analyzer to its customer base.
BioMérieux said it expects to pay a non-recurring restructuring charge of around €2.5 million ($3.7 million) this year as a result of the joint venture.