The FDA has its hands full with the impact of the mutations to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but test developers can count on an ever-increasing base of data for those viruses thanks to a new contract taken by the CDC. The CDC indicated recently that its sequencing efforts and that of other organizations churned out nearly 14,000 sequences for the week of April 3, but Aegis Sciences Corp., of Nashville, Tenn., announced April 7 that it had undertaken an agreement to perform next-generation sequencing of samples from all 50 states and Puerto Rico, ensuring plenty of access to up-to-date information on those mutations.
Hologic Inc. is tucking in yet another diagnostics manufacturer, this time with the acquisition of Mobidiag Oy for approximately $795 million. The privately held Finnish-French company develops and markets polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based tests for acute care testing such as gastrointestinal and respiratory infections, antimicrobial resistance management and health care-associated infections.
Pixium Vision SA reported that its merger with Second Sight Medical Products Inc. has foundered. The combination would have eased Paris-based Pixium’s entry into the U.S. market and Sylmar, Calif.-based Second Sight’s access to the European market, which Pixium has previously opposed, and enabled them to jointly develop and market neuromodulation devices that restore some degree of vision to the blind. The deal had been expected to close early in the second quarter of 2021.
Invitae Corp. has inked a definitive agreement to acquire Genosity Inc., a genomics company with a technology platform for next-generation sequencing (NGS) assays, for approximately $200 million in cash and stock. Separately, the medical genetic testing company reported a $1.15 billion investment, led by Softbank Group subsidiary SB Management, to support ongoing growth initiatives. San Francisco-based Invitae expects the Genosity platform to accelerate the development and launch of its oncology products, including three tests that won FDA breakthrough device designation.
PERTH, Australia – Analytica Ltd. signed a joint venture agreement with Hebei Nacol Bio-Technology Co. Ltd. and Shijiazhuang Biosphere Pty Ltd., of Hebei Province, China, to manufacture and distribute its Pericoach device for urinary incontinence in China, Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Merck & Co. Inc. telegraphed the future focus of Organon & Co., which will spin off from the pharmaceutical giant as a public company in the first half of 2021, with an announcement of an agreement to acquire Alydia Health Inc. Alydia makes the Jada system, which treats postpartum hemorrhage.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking to block Illumina Inc.’s $7.1 billion purchase of Grail Inc., claiming the deal will “diminish innovation in the U.S. market” for multicancer early detection (MCED) tests, which could be used to flag dozens of tumor types when they are still treatable. Illumina has vowed to “pursue all legal options” to complete its acquisition of Grail, arguing that it does not compete with Grail and is committed to providing “unfettered access” to its NGS technology.
Med-tech M&A continued an upward trend through March, with 30% more completed in 2021 compared with this point last year. Deals, including collaborations, licensings and joint ventures, are up by 13%, although the value of those deals are trailing 2020 by 39%.
Somalogic Inc. has agreed to go public via a merger with blank-check company CM Life Sciences II. Upon closing, CMLS II – a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) sponsored by affiliates of Casdin Capital LLC and Corvex Management LP – will be renamed Somalogic and its common stock listed on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol SLGC.
PARIS – Implanet SA won approval from its founding shareholders to acquire a majority stake in spinal implant manufacturer Orthopaedic & Spine Development SAS (OSD). Implanet’s bid is aimed at acquiring majority control, and potentially the entire share capital, of Avignon, France-based OSD, valued at $5 million. OSD’s founding shareholders, representing 71.5% of the capital, have already committed to respond favorably to the bid, thus confirming the principles behind this merger.