NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — UK-based point-of-care diagnostics firm EKF Diagnostics said today that it has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire Selah Genomics, a US-based developer of molecular diagnostics for personalized medicine.
In addition, EKF said that it has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire DiaSpect Medical, a Swedish manufacturer of point-of-care hemoglobin analyzers.
In an investor announcement, EKF noted that the consideration for Selah's acquisition comprises an initial consideration of $35.6 million through the issue of new EKF shares and an additional deferred consideration of up to $35 million, valuing Selah at up to approximately $70.6 million. Meantime, EKF said it values the acquisition of DiaSpect at up to approximately £20.75 million ($34.2 million), comprising an initial consideration of £10.25 million in cash and £5.75 million in new ordinary shares of the company, as well as an additional deferred consideration of up to £4.75 million.
In connection with the proposed acquisitions, EKF, which trades shares on the London Stock Exchange, announced that it has raised approximately £5 million through the firm placement of nearly 14.3 million new ordinary shares, as well as approximately £17 million through a conditional placement of more than 48.5 million new ordinary shares. The price per placing share was set at 35 pence representing a discount of approximately 2.8 percent to the closing price on March 19, EKF said.
Selah Genomics, a CLIA-certified laboratory based in Greenville, SC, formed in January 2013 after Cambridge, UK-based Lab21 sold its SC-based lab operations.
Selah uses next-generation sequencing and other molecular technologies to develop laboratory-developed tests and companion diagnostics. In partnership with Greenville Health System, Selah has developed PrecisionPath, a panel of known oncology biomarker genes for which there is evidence of clinical utility. In November 2013, the GHS Institute for Translational Oncology Research started using PrecisionPath to molecularly profile tissue from each GHS cancer surgery patient under a universal consent at no additional cost to the patient.
Selah also has an agreement with Applied Genetics under which that company provides a contract sales force for Selah's drug metabolizing enzyme panel services; as well as a partnership with Foundation Medicine and GHS to launch a rare tumor center to provide patients with molecular profiling of rare cancer tumors through an NGS-based FoundationOne test.
DiaSpect is an Uppsala-headquartered IVD company that develops and distributes point-of-care hemoglobin systems. The company's focus is on developing systems for instant hemoglobin and hemoglobin-related measurements, which are for use with unaltered whole blood without the use of reagents.
EKF said that the two acquisitions, combined with the acquisition of Separation Technology, announced last week, will allow it to achieve its goal of becoming a leader in point-of-care hemoglobin testing, and enable it to participate more broadly in the personalized medicine space.
"These acquisitions provide us with a huge opportunity to establish ourselves as a leading global player in point-of-care hemoglobin testing and to consolidate our position in molecular diagnostics and personalized medicine, an area that we consider to be one of the most exciting areas in diagnostics," EKF CEO Julian Baines said in a statement. "My board colleagues and I believe that these acquisitions will deliver an enhanced return to our shareholders and we expect the transactions to be earnings-enhancing, both individually and in aggregate, from year one."
Last year EKF created a subsidiary called EKF Molecular Diagnostics to support the company's foray into molecular and companion diagnostics. At the same time it acquired cancer diagnostics firm 360 Genomics for up to £9.6 million.