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Bio-Rad Laboratories Enters Near-Patient MDx Space With $170M Scope Fluidics Subsidiary Acquisition

NEW YORK – Bio-Rad Laboratories announced on Wednesday that it has agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of Curiosity Diagnostics, a subsidiary of Warsaw, Poland-based Scope Fluidics, for $170 million.

Curiosity Diagnostics is developing a 15-minute sample-to-answer PCR system called PCR One. The system performs multiplex tests for up to 20 targets from raw patient samples.

Scope Fluidics obtained the CE mark on a SARS-CoV-2 test on the PCR One system last year and recently brought on rapid PCR expert Carl Wittwer as an adviser.

Bio-Rad will acquire the outstanding shares of Curiosity Diagnostics for approximately $100 million in cash and up to $70 million in future milestone payments, the firm said in a statement.

Dara Wright, executive VP and president of Bio-Rad's clinical diagnostics group, said the company will work closely with Curiosity's team "to bring a new generation of rapid PCR systems to market."

The PCR One system is also expected to extend Bio-Rad's reach "beyond high-complexity labs into near-patient molecular diagnostics labs," Wright added.

Piotr Garstecki, Scope Fluidics' president and cofounder, said that the Curiosity team is looking forward to further developing the PCR One technology under Bio-Rad's leadership.

Scope Fluidics will now continue "to pursue new and current projects in disruptive medical diagnostics," Garstecki also said. The firm's Bacteromic subsidiary obtained the CE mark last year on a phenotypic antimicrobial susceptibility testing instrument.

Earlier this year, Bio-Rad also described an appetite for a larger, potentially transformative M&A deal, and the firm closed a public offering of $1.2 billion in aggregate senior notes in March intended in part to support acquisitions of other companies, products, or technologies.