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BioMerieux Q1 Revenues Up 8 Percent Including BioFire Sales Contribution

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — BioMérieux today reported a 3 percent increase in first quarter revenues year over year, but an 8 percent increase when including sales from recent acquisition BioFire Diagnostics and at constant exchange rates.

For the three months ended March 31, BioMérieux, which trades on the NYSE Euronext Paris market, reported net sales of €371 million ($512.5 million) compared to €359 million in the year-ago period. The Marcy L'Etoile, France-based company said that organic growth was about 4 percent at constant exchange rates and "scope of consolidation," lifted by a favorable prior-year comparison.

First quarter 2014 sales for the first time included revenues from BioFire Diagnostics, the acquisition of which BioMérieux completed in mid-January for approximately €357 million. BioFire, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, markets FilmArray, a CE-marked, US Food and Drug Administration-cleared multiplex PCR diagnostic system. FilmArray's menu includes CE-marked and FDA-cleared syndromic respiratory and sepsis panels.

Based on two and a half months of consolidation in the quarter, BioFire contributed sales of €14 million, including €12 million in FilmArray sales. BioMérieux said that FilmArray sales delivered growth of around 60 percent year over year, with particularly strong sales in North America.

BioMérieux breaks its earnings out into Clinical Applications, which includes Microbiology, Immunoassays, Molecular Biology, and Other; and Industrial Applications. In Q1, Clinical Applications revenues rose 4 percent to €296.8 million from €286 million in the comparable period last year.

The company's Clinical Molecular Biology offerings include instrumentations such as the easyMAG sample purification platform, easySTREAM liquid handling system for PCR assay set-up, Life Technologies' (Thermo Fisher Scientific) real-time PCR instruments, and NucliSentral software; and Argene real-time PCR assays specific for immunocompromised patients and respiratory and meningo-encephalitis infections.

Sales of these products represented about €78 million in 2012, a BioMérieux spokesperson told GWDN in an email.

In addition, BioMérieux sells the Vitek MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry system for the identification of bacteria and yeast. In August 2013, BioMérieux was granted 510(k) de novo clearance by the FDA for the platform, which provides routine detection of a comprehensive database of disease-causing microorganisms. The spokesperson noted that Vitek "enjoyed a promising launch in clinical microbiology laboratories," but the firm didn't break out sales of the platform, which it offers through its Clinical Microbiology segment.

Meantime, BioMérieux's Industrial Applications revenues declined 1 percent to €72.3 million from €72.9 million in Q1 2013. The company also has a small R&D arm, which recorded revenues of €1.7 million in Q1.

BioMérieux noted that in conjunction with the BioFire acquisition, the company created a wholly owned subsidiary called BioFire Defense to focus on US military contracts. In February 2014, the US Department of Defense awarded BioFire Defense the $240 million Next Generation Diagnostic System technology development contract, under which BioFire Defense planned to expand the FilmArray menu to include biothreat targets.

However, BioMérieux noted today that a legal protest action has been initiated by another competing company and, in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulations, a stop-work order was received by BioFire Defense at the end of March. The company said that it is working with government officials on this issue, and the spokesperson added that a delay of up to six months would not drastically affect BioFire sales.

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