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Apr 12, 2013

Triple Threat: New Dx Firm Forged from Three-Company Merger

  • Mobidiag today said it will combine with two companies specializing in molecular diagnostics for infectious diseases, after acquiring them for undisclosed prices. The new Mobidiag will combine its high-multiplex proprietary diagnostic test portfolios with that of Amplidiag, as well as with the automated and integrated test platform of Genewave.

    The new Mobidiag will be led by a new CEO—Tuomas Tenkanen, former R&D director of the diagnostics PCR products provider Finnzymes, acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific in March 2010.

    Amplidiag provides a broad panel of diagnostic tests for infectious diseases, with what Mobidiag called “substantial” intellectual property covering testing and nucleic acid extraction methods for contagious gastrointestinal and other serious diseases.

    Genewave is a development-stage diagnostics company that specializes in development, manufacturing, and marketing of microarray instrumentation for diagnostic, clinical, and basic life science research. The company says its instruments are designed to curb the spread of hospital-acquired infections and anti-microbial resistance.

    The company’s GeneSpress® system is an automated and integrated platform for highly multiplexed molecular diagnostic tests. Genewave says its approach is designed to offer a higher-performing, lower-cost, and more versatile solution versus bacterial culture and competing approaches in development.

    GeneSpress integrates DNA purification, up to 20-plex PCR amplification, and microarray hybridization and detection into an automated workflow on a single, closed lab-on-chip cartridge. The platform incorporates Genewave’s patented TouchArray™ optical detection technology for highly sensitive imaging of microarrays.

    “Our microarray reader, despite its small volume (wristwatch size) has more than an order of magnitude higher sensitivity than the top microarray readers currently used in the industry,” Genewave states on its website.

    The two companies will combine with Mobidiag, whose CE-IVD-marked Prove-it™ diagnostic tests enable detection of up to 84 pathogens and antibiotic resistance markers through a single assay. Prove-it applies technology based on PCR amplification followed by specific target identification on microarray. Current test products are intended for diagnosing bacterial and fungal sepsis, viral central nervous system infections, and bacterial bone and joint infections.

    Mobidiag—which built a reference customer base in Europe with its current test portfolio—said in a statement that the acquisitions will enable it to automate its tests, addressing the need of clinical laboratories for automated and integrated diagnostic testing of severe infectious diseases.

    “The fusion of these three complementary companies creates a unique opportunity to bring forward the next generation of infectious disease diagnostics to dramatically improve global health care,” Tenkanen said in a statement.

    The deal was accompanied by a financing round of an undisclosed sum by existing investors Helsinki University Fund, iXLife, Tutor Invest (Medtech Rahasto Ky), and other entities, as well as public funding support from the Finnish funding agencies Tekes and Finnvera and the European Union.


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