Firms will co-develop microbiology assays on multiplex platform acquired from Philips.

BioMérieux has taken a €9 million (about $12.5 million) equity investment in Swiss biotech company Biocartis as part of an exclusive agreement to co-develop microbiology assays on the latter’s multiplex DNA/RNA molecular diagnostics platform. The firms hope to start co-distributing new assays during 2012. The deal also gives bioMérieux access to the Biocartis platform for certain oncology and theranostic assays.

Biocartis acquired the MDx system from Philips in February, and has been finalizing development and validation at its newly established Dutch subsidiary Biocartis BV. The firm claims the platform is designed to integrate all the steps of a multiplexed molecular assay, from sample in to data out, and minimize hands-on time to just 1-2 minutes. The use of disposable sealed test cartridges avoid contamination risk, and the system is suitable for use in both small and large laboratories and in remote settings, Biocartis adds.  

 “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,” comments Rudi Pauwels, Ph.D., Biocartis founder and CEO. “This collaborative agreement is a fundamental step in Biocartis’ strategy for the introduction of our molecular diagnostics platform.”

Having acquired the Philips platform in February, Biocartis completed a €30 million (about $41.3 million) Series B equity financing round in April. Participants included the firm’s existing shareholders along with new investors Debiopharm Group and Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, which each obtained a minority stake in Biocartis.

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