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Luminex to Buy Molecular Reagents and Tests Firm EraGen for $34M

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Luminex has signed a definitive agreement to buy molecular reagents and tests firm EraGen Biosciences for $34 million in an all-cash transaction, the Austin, Texas-based firm announced after the close of the market on Tuesday.

Under the terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the next several weeks, Luminex will buy all outstanding shares of EraGen. The purchase would provide Luminex access to a "highly complementary" portfolio of molecular diagnostic assays, and broaden its product offerings to existing customers, open new market opportunities, and accelerate future product development, Luminex said.

The acquisition "builds on the strategic investments we have made and provides additional resources for sales, support, and assay development, strengthening our leadership position and expanding our footprint within the molecular diagnostic market," Luminex President and CEO Patrick Balthrop said in a statement.

EraGen's products include the MultiCode-RTx Herpes Simplex Virus 1&2 Kit, which it says is the first PCR-based qualitative test to be cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration for detecting and typing HSV-1 or HSV-2 from vaginal lesion swab specimens. The test was developed on EraGen's MultiCode platform, which is based on proprietary chemistry for next-generation DNA- and RNA-based testing for the early detection of infectious diseases and genetic-based conditions.

The MultiCode assay chemistry is flexible enough for both real-time PCR and multiplex PCR-based applications, Luminex said.

Founded in 1999, EraGen also has analyte-specific reagents for infectious agent detection and has developed research-use-only reagents for infectious diseases associated with organ transplants. The company is based in Madison, Wis., and has 70 employees, as well as a 27,000-square-foot facility that is ISO 13485:2003-certified. Luminex said that EraGen is expected to remain headquartered in Madison.

In 2010, EraGen posted $8 million in revenues. The acquisition is expected to add between $5 million and $7 million in revenues to Luminex in 2011, and be dilutive to earnings in 2011 but accretive to earnings in 2012 on a GAAP basis.

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