Australian molecular diagnostics firm Clinical Genomics has acquired U.S.-based cancer screening company Enterix from Quest Diagnostics as well as the Sydney-based subsidiary. Clinical Genomics hopes that the deal will make them a major player in colorectal cancer screening in Australia as it gears up to launch what it says will be the first commercially available blood test for bowel cancer in Australia in early 2014.

With this acquisition, Clinical Genomics is receiving a regulatory-licensed manufacturing facility in the U.S. and Australia, as well as access to a pathology laboratory in Australia for selling bowel cancer screening services. The deal also gives Clinical Genomics ownership of the InSure fecal immunochemical test (FIT) “brush test” product line. Clinical Genomics says this product will be combined with the new blood plasma test to deliver a portfolio of colorectal cancer screening products aimed at user-friendly, patient-preferred screening solutions.

A representative of Clinical Genomics said that, prior to this acquisition, the firm had a blood-based test in the pipeline after years of R&D but no real distribution infrastructure. Enterix, by contrast, had an established fecal-based test and the infrastructure to promote and sell it, but no license to a blood-based test.

“This is a key step in our transition from a biotech company focused primarily on research and development into a commercial entity with a portfolio of cancer screening products and an exciting pipeline,” said Lawrence LaPointe, Ph.D., Clinical Genomics’ CEO, in a statement.

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