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GeneNews, Cobalt Healthcare Buy Out HDL's Stake in CLIA Lab JV

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – GeneNews today said that it has entered into a purchase agreement with Cobalt Healthcare Consultants to acquire Health Diagnostic Laboratory's stake in Innovative Diagnostic Laboratory, a joint venture established in 2013 by the three partners. 

GeneNews and Cobalt Healthcare Consultants are buying HDL's 33 percent stake in IDL for $4 million. The acquisition gives GeneNews and Cobalt each a 50 percent stake in IDL, which was established as a jointly owned CLIA lab to develop and increase the adoption of GeneNews' ColonSentry colorectal cancer test in the US. 

Enzo Biochem has the rights to commercialize the test in New York and New Jersey. 

As part of the 2013 deal, Toronto-based GeneNews granted IDL an exclusive license for certain technology related to ColonSentry for development and commercialization in theUS, excluding New York and New Jersey. GeneNews Executive Chairman James Howard-Tripp said in a statement today that the firm will continue to grow IDL through internal pipeline development, and "increasing our ownership interest in IDL will provide us with greater management and cost control, more direct input, and a higher share of the joint venture's economics." 

He added that GeneNews intends to increase its ownership stake in IDL based on future opportunities, and confirmed to GenomeWeb that Cobalt is the previously unnamed sales organization that GeneNews and HDL partnered with to create IDL. 

As part of the deal, GeneNews and Cobalt will each pay HDL $1 million in cash. Each firm will also issue a one-year secured promissory note in the principal amount of $1 million to HDL. 

Howard-Tripp said that moving ahead the focus will be on expanding IDL's sales effort "by reestablishing growth trends of existing tests," increasing the lab's test menu, and improving revenue collections.