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bioMerieux, Inc. and Biocartis Sign Strategic Partnership in Molecular Diagnostics


11/4/2010 11:46:39 AM

France and LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Nov. 4, 2010/PRNewswire/ --bioMerieux and Biocartis announced today that they have entered into a strategic agreement to co-develop assays on Biocartis' fully integrated molecular diagnostics system, which the two companies will co-distribute starting in 2012. Under the agreement, bioMerieux will have worldwide exclusive rights to develop and commercialize microbiology assays on the platform. It will also have access to the platform for certain oncology and theranostics assays. bioMerieux has taken a euro 9 million equity stake in Biocartis.

Biocartis has continued to successfully develop its molecular diagnostics platform, which was acquired from Philips earlier this year. The platform now fully integrates all the steps of a multiplexed molecular assay, from sample-in to data-out, in a sealed disposable cartridge, which avoids any contamination risk. Providing rapid results, the system is able to perform complex tests on a wide variety of samples, including oncology assays on tissue. The Biocartis platform does not require molecular biology experience or infrastructure with highly skilled technicians, and involves only 1-2 minutes hands-on time. Adapted to both small and large labs, the platform is fully scalable and allows random access use.

bioMerieux, the world leader in microbiology, will enhance the Biocartis platform's broad menu with an exclusive line of tests for healthcare-associated infections and sepsis. bioMerieux also plans to develop oncology and theranostics assays on the system.

"Our team is developing new diagnostics solutions to bridge the gap between the increasing availability of multiple, clinically validated biomarkers and their actual use and deployment in daily clinical practice. Our system has been designed to provide meaningful results whether care is provided in small or larger hospitals, or in remote or more developed settings," said Dr. Rudi Pauwels, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Biocartis. "This collaborative agreement is a fundamental step in Biocartis' strategy for the introduction of our molecular diagnostics platform, and we are therefore very pleased to partner with bioMerieux, the global leader in the microbiology field, able to ensure the development of key assays and broad distribution of our system worldwide."

"Molecular biology is an important technology for strengthening our global leadership in microbiology and becoming a key theranostics partner for pharmaceutical companies. By gaining access to such an innovative, fully integrated platform, bioMerieux achieves a significant milestone in our growth strategy for the next decade," said Stephane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of bioMerieux. "We are extremely pleased to work with such a talented team, headed by a very successful serial entrepreneur, Dr. Rudi Pauwels."

Under the terms of the agreement Biocartis will receive upfront and milestone payments as well as royalties on future sales. In connection with the equity stake, bioMerieux has the right to designate one director for election to the board and as a result, Stephane Bancel will become a Biocartis board member. No further financial details of the transaction were disclosed.

About Biocartis

Biocartis is a privately owned biotech company that was founded in 2007 by Dr. Rudi Pauwels (Co-founder of Tibotec, Virco and Galapagos Genomics), Prof. Philippe Renaud (Prof. at EPFL), and Nader Donzel (Co-founder of Scitec laboratory Automation). Biocartis engages in the development of novel diagnostics technology platforms for low to highly multiplexed detection of molecular-based biomarkers. The Company plans to bring to market in 2012 a versatile and compact molecular diagnostic platform whose ease of use and operational characteristics will lower the entry barrier to molecular diagnostic testing. Biocartis is based at the EPFL Science Park in Lausanne, Switzerland and at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. A new R&D and manufacturing center is being established in Flanders, Belgium.

The company has raised significant capital since 2009 through a syndicate of investors that contains some of Europe's most successful biotech entrepreneurs, including Aescap Venture Management, Advent Venture Partners, Biovest, and Debiopharm Group, as well as KBC Private Equity and Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation.

For further information, please visit www.biocartis.com

About bioMerieux

Advancing diagnostics to improve public health

A world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics for over 45 years, bioMerieux is present in more than 150 countries through 39 subsidiaries and a large network of distributors. In 2009, revenues reached euro 1.223 billion with 85% of sales outside of France. bioMerieux provides diagnostic solutions (reagents, instruments, software) which determine the source of disease and contamination to improve patient health and ensure consumer safety. Our products are used for diagnosing infectious diseases and providing high medical value results for cancer screening and monitoring and cardiovascular emergencies. They are also used for detecting microorganisms in agri-food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.

bioMerieux is listed on the NYSE Euronext Paris market (Symbol: BIM ISIN: FR0010096479).

Other information can be found at www.biomerieux.com

SOURCE bioMerieux



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