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BioMérieux Buys Argene for up to $60.1M

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – BioMérieux today announced it has purchased French firm Argene for up to €42.5 million ($60.1 million).

BioMérieux is acquiring all of the shares of Ab-Services, the holding firm that owns Argene, for €37.5 million upfront and may make up to €5 million in contingent payments.

Headquartered in Verniolle, France, Argene provides a range of diagnostic products for infectious diseases, including quantitative tests for cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, and herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2. The tests can be used on most commercial open real-time PCR platforms, BioMérieux said.

In 2010, Argene posted €10 million ($14 million) in sales with molecular diagnostics making up about 75 percent of its business, BioMérieux said. It has 70 employees worldwide.

The acquisition is BioMérieux's 10th in five years. Along with complementing BioMérieux's offerings in infectious disease, the deal "will also enable us to accelerate the time to market of a broad test menu on the new molecular platform we are developing with Biocartis," Jean-luc Bélingard, chairman and CEO of BioMérieux, said in a statement.

The company plans to launch the system being developed with Biocartis in mid-2013 and said that an additional license has been secured from Biocartis for integration of Argene's products on the platform.