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BioMérieux, Biocartis Ink MDx Co-development Pact

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – BioMérieux and Biocartis today announced an agreement to co-develop assays on Biocartis' molecular diagnostics platform.

As part of the deal, BioMérieux is taking a €9 million ($12.8 million) stake in Biocartis. In return, Biocartis will receive upfront and milestone payments, as well as royalties on future sales. BioMérieux will have worldwide exclusive rights to develop and commercialize microbiology assays on Biocartis' platform, which was acquired from Philips in February.

The firms plan to co-distribute the assays in 2012.

In addition, BioMérieux has access to the platform for certain oncology and theranostic assays.

As a result of the equity stake, BioMérieux CEO Stéphane Bancel is joining Biocartis' board of directors.

In a statement, the partners said that Biocartis' platform fully integrates all the steps of a multiplexed molecular assay from sample-in to data-out. BioMérieux will "enhance" the platform's menu with an exclusive line of tests for healthcare-related infections and sepsis, they added.

Based in Marcy l'Etoile, France, BioMérieux develops in vitro diagnostics. Biocartis, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, develops diagnostic platforms for low to highly multiplexed detection of molecular-based biomarkers. The company plans to bring to market in 2012 its molecular diagnostics platform "whose ease of use and operational characteristics will lower the entry barrier to molecular diagnostic testing," it said.

The deal "is a fundamental step" in Biocartis' strategy for the introduction of its platform, its founder and CEO, Rudi Pauwels, said. "Our system has been designed to provide meaningful results whether care is provided in small or larger hospitals, or in remote or more developed settings," he added.

Bancel said that access to the platform "achieves a significant milestone in [BioMérieux's] growth strategy for the next decade."