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BSI Merges with MBC to Secure Access to Nanoarray Technology and New Academic and Pharma Markets

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Diagnostics firm Biosystems International announced this week that it will merge with microarray-maker MicroBioChips.

The merger will give BSI access to MicroBioChips' nanoarray technology and its sales and marketing resources, which are expected to help the company "establish collaborative research and sales [relationships] with university-based proteomics laboratories" and with "pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, and university resource laboratories," Laszlo Takacs, the company's founder and chief scientific officer, told ProteoMonitor.

"This is a very important expectation from our side," he said. MBC has "an experienced marketing and sales force in this domain. They have a name in this field."

Looking ahead, BSI said it hopes to use nanoarray technology being developed at MBC to build point-of-care diagnostic assays, Takacs said.

"Point-of-care device development for multivariate assays using antibodies can be done much more easily with nanotechnology-based arrays," he said. "That's essentially the advantage."

Such a use for MBC's nanoarray technology is still several steps away from a feasibility study, he noted.

In July, BSI closed a $2.7 million private-equity financing round to help it develop a protein biomarker-based lung cancer diagnostic, which it hopes to market sometime in 2011 (07/23/2010).

The company is also working on diagnostics for breast and colon cancer that William Hempel, BSI's director of scientific communication, this week told ProteoMonitor sister publication BioArray News, will "soon enter development" (09/14/2010). It also has tests for obesity and alcohol-induced liver disease that are still in the early research phase.

According to the firms, the partial transfer of MBC's assets to BSI was approved by MBC's shareholders in July. Prior to the merger agreement, BSI pocketed €2.1 million ($2.8 million) in new capital, while MBC nabbed €225,000. Together, the cash infusions "assur[e] the merged firm has sufficient capital for future development."

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