NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – BioMérieux said today that its first quarter sales grew nearly 21 percent lifted primarily by positive currency effects and two weeks of sales from BioFire Diagnostics, which the company acquired in mid-January last year.
For the three months ended March 31, the Marcy L'Etoile, France-based in vitro diagnostics firm reported revenues of €447.9 million ($485.2 million) compared to €370.8 million in Q1 2014. This growth included a €37 million positive currency effect, of which €27 million was due to the US dollar. On an organic basis and at constant exchange rates, sales grew 9 percent.
BioMérieux said that growth in Q1 was due to the more severe winter flu epidemic in the Northern hemisphere; satisfactory blood culture bottle production at the company's Durham, NC, site; and an upturn in instrument installations in North America in the wake of a sharp slowdown in the fourth quarter of 2014.
By application area, clinical applications revenues rose 22 percent to €356.8 million from €292.9 million. Meantime, industrial applications sales increased 14 percent to €82.5 million from €72.3 million.
By segment, microbiology — BioMérieux's largest contributor in clinical applications — grew 13 percent to €198.1 million from €174.9 million. Growth in this segment was driven by the company's automated bacterial identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing business, including the traditional Vitek 2 and the Vitek MS mass spectrometry platform. In addition, blood culture sales benefitted from the aforementioned improvement in conditions in theDurham,NC, site, after a Q1 2014 decline.
Meantime, molecular biology sales essentially doubled year over year to €57.6 million from €28.8 million, and grew by 49 percent on an organic basis. Growth in this segment included €37 million in BioFire Diagnostics sales. During the quarter, the FilmArray system experienced sustained commercial success inNorth America, where the installed base rose to 1,600 systems. In addition, the company's Argene line of PCR-based infectious disease assays contributed to growth in this segment.
Also within clinical applications, immunoassays grew 14 percent to €97.6 million. Of note within industrial applications, BioFire Defense revenues rose 72 percent to €3.1 million from €1.8 million.
During the quarter, BioMérieux's next-generation FilmArray system, the FilmArray 2.0, received US Food and Drug Administration Clearance. In addition, earlier this month BioFire submitted a de novo classification request to the FDA for the FilmArray Meningitis/Encephalitis Panel, which, if cleared, would be the fourth commercial clinical diagnostic panel for the FilmArray system.