Bio-Techne has increased its presence in diagnostics by closing on a $43 million minority-stake equity investment in Astute Medical, the companies said today.

The deal—in which some existing Astute Medical investors also participated—gives Bio-Techne manufacturing rights for future products and royalties on Astute Medical diagnostic tests that contain Bio-Techne reagents.

Astute Medical, in return, will enjoy enhanced access to Bio-Techne's libraries of antibodies and proteins for future test development, while applying its own expertise in discovery, development, and commercialization of novel diagnostic tests, the companies said.

Bio-Techne said the transaction was a “decisive movement” in a long-term strategy to expand its presence in branded diagnostics—and includes an option allowing it to “further expand the relationship,” the companies said, without offering details.

Chuck Kummeth, Bio-Techne’s president and CEO, noted in a statement that his company’s current diagnostic revenues are now largely derived through OEM manufacturing and reagent supply relationships with many of the largest diagnostic brands.

“Creating greater value by participating in end customer sales remains a focus for Bio-Techne,” Kummeth stated. “The Astute Medical collaboration enhances Bio-Techne's exposure to end customer sales, expanding its market reach, growing its expertise and knowledge of the fast-moving diagnostics field, and at the same time developing and providing key biological reagents as critical components in new diagnostic tests.”

Founded in 2007, Astute Medical has developed and obtained U.S. regulatory clearance and CE marking for the Nephrocheck® Test, which assesses the risk of moderate-to-severe acute kidney injury in hospitalized patients. The test is currently available in the U.S. and Europe on the Company's Astute140® Meter analyzer as well as through commercial partners.

The companies added that Nephrocheck may also become available on higher-throughput testing platforms.

In addition to kidney injury, Astute Medical's current areas of interest include abdominal pain, acute coronary syndromes, cerebrovascular injury, and sepsis.

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