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Novacyt to Sell Cytology, Clinical Lab Units

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — French diagnostics firm Novacyt said today that it plans to divest its Novaprep cytology business and clinical laboratory operations in order to focus on in vitro diagnostic product development and its profitable Lab21 and Primerdesign diagnostic reagent units.

The announcement follows the launch of a strategic review of Novaprep — which experienced a 45 percent year-over-year decline in revenues during the first half of 2018 — and a recent unsolicited proposal to acquire the business. Novaprep revenues comprise less than 9 percent of the firm’s total revenues, Novacyt said.

The firm said it has now initiated a formal open-market sales process for Novaprep and is weighing options that include the sale of the unit as a single entity or as separate assets to multiple parties.

Novacyt added that its board has also begun the sales process for its clinical lab unit, which represents one part of the UK-based Lab21 unit, and has received expressions of interest from potential buyers.

"The potential sales of Novaprep and the clinical lab represent key steps in streamlining the group to focus on diagnostic products and product development services," Novacyt CEO Graham Mullis said in a statement. "By focusing further on our core strengths and taking a more targeted investment approach, we expect to continue to improve efficiency and profitability across the group and improve shareholder returns. I look forward to updating shareholders with the progress of the sale processes during the first quarter of 2019."