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Venaxis Acquires BiOptix Diagnostics

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Diagnostics developer Venaxis announced late Tuesday that it has acquired a privately-held Colorado-based company called BiOptix Diagnostics.

BiOptix has developed a platform based on enhanced surface plasmon resonance (SPR) technology to detect molecular interactions, Venaxis said. The platform is especially useful for drug-discovery scientists who require label-free real-time detection of biomolecular interactions. SPR is an optical technology that can measure refractive index changes on a sensor chip's gold surface due to a change in mass that occurs during a binding event. This change can be used to monitor biological interactions.

Venaxis said it has acquired approximately 98 percent of BiOptix voting shares for approximately 14 percent of its own post-deal outstanding common shares. Further details of the deal were not disclosed.

"We are pleased to announce this acquisition and are excited by the opportunity we believe it represents for shareholders of Venaxis," said CEO Steve Lundy in a statement. "The newly combined company will benefit from BiOptix technology and market opportunity, combined with Venaxis resources and public listing. The company is expected to initially focus on product improvement initiates and expanding commercialization of BiOptix's 404pi E-SPR product."

In January, Venaxis announced it was merging with Strand Life Sciences as part of a business growth strategy the company had put in motion in early 2015. However, the merger plans were terminated in March after the companies said they could not complete the deal in a timely manner.

Venaxis shares fell 11 percent to $3.87 in morning trading on the Nasdaq.