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PDI Moves into MDx Space with Acquisition of Two Asuragen microRNA Tests

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – PDI said after the close of the market Wednesday that its Interpace Diagnostics subsidiary will enter the molecular diagnostics market through the acquisition of two tests from Asuragen.

PDI said that it will pay Asuragen $8 million upfront in cash, future commercial milestone-based payments, and royalties for the miRInform Thyroid and Pancreas cancer tests, IP related to the tests and other tests in development for thyroid cancer, as well as a tissue sample biobank containing more than 5,000 samples.

The miRInform Thyroid is test is comprised of 17 markers recommended by the American Thyroid Association to detect genetic alterations that are associated with thyroid cancer and can be used as a prognosticator of thyroid cancer. The test brought in revenues of around $2 million over the past 12 months, according to PDI.

The miRInform Pancreas test, which is expected to launch in the first half of 2015, analyzes the expression of certain miRNAs to differentiate pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and pancreatitis.

"Today's portfolio acquisition is a pivotal step in PDI's strategy to leverage our extensive healthcare go-to-market experience and infrastructure in the higher margin, high-growth market of molecular diagnostics," PDI CEO Nancy Lurker said in a statement. "It also complements our ongoing efforts in thyroid cancer, where a prospective clinical validation study is underway on a previously disclosed test that PDI has rights to in-license. Combined with the acquisition of a much needed, innovative diagnostic in pancreatic cancer – a devastating disease with limited molecular testing options – these tests set Interpace Diagnostics on a path toward establishing a commercial presence in cancer diagnostics."

PDI is a provider of commercialization services for firms operating in healthcare-related fields. Among its services are contract sales teams and digital communication services.