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UPDATE: Japan's Sysmex Acquires Germany's Inostics, Partec

This story has been updated from a previous version to incorporate information about Sysmex's acquisition of Partec.

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Japanese in vitro diagnostics firm Sysmex said yesterday that it has acquired a pair of German companies in a bid to bolster its personalized medicine and companion diagnostics development business.

Specifically, Sysmex acquired Hamburg-based Inostics and its US subsidiary Inostics Inc., based in Baltimore, Md. Sysmex has also acquired Görlitz-based flow cytometry firm Partec.

Inostics owns advanced genetic testing technologies, in particular the BEAMing (beads, emulsion, amplification, and magnetics) technology — an ultra-sensitive digital PCR technology for detecting cancer cell DNA directly from blood.

Inostics was founded in 2008 by Indivumed and scientists from Johns Hopkins University, including Bert Vogelstein and Kenneth Kinzler, who invented the BEAMing technology. The company has been offering research and clinical diagnostic services based on BEAMing out of its Germany headquarters and its CLIA-licensed laboratory in Baltimore.

The BEAMing method combines emulsion-based digital PCR with magnetic beads, hybridization, and flow cytometry. BEAMing assays can detect and enumerate mutant DNA in a background of wild-type DNA at ratios greater than one in 10,000, according to the company.

Meantime, Partec specializes in flow cytometry product development, and has established a presence in emerging markets and developing countries in areas such as HIV monitoring, malaria diagnostics, and other infectious diseases. In developed countries, Partec provides testing instruments that use its flow cytometry technology to research institutions and industrial customers.

Through its acquisitions, Sysmex plans to use Partec's flow cytometry technology for both research and diagnostic purposes, including integrating the technology with Inostics' BEAMing method. By doing so, the company said, it will enter the personalized medicine space.

Sysmex also plans to further develop Inostics' assay services on a global basis and use the BEAMing technology in its companion diagnostics activities in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies. Furthermore, Sysmex plans to push further into the hematology field by combining Partec's technology with its own hematology expertise.