Thermo Fisher acquires Mesa Biotech, Novasep's Henogen

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Wednesday, 20 January, 2021

Thermo Fisher acquires Mesa Biotech, Novasep's Henogen

Serving science company Thermo Fisher Scientific has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Mesa Biotech, a privately held molecular diagnostic company, for approximately US$450 million in cash.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approval. Thermo Fisher will pay up to an additional US$100 million in cash upon the completion of certain milestones following the close of the transaction. Upon completion, the business will become part of Thermo Fisher’s Life Sciences Solutions Segment.

Mesa Biotech’s technology expands the availability of gold standard nucleic acid PCR amplification to point-of-care diagnostics, having developed and commercialised a rapid point-of-care testing platform available for detecting infectious diseases including COVID-19, Influenza A and B, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and Strep A. The company is based in San Diego and has approximately 500 employees, with revenues in 2020 of approximately US$45 million.

Mesa Biotech’s Accula Flu A/Flu B, RSV and Strep A tests have obtained 510(k) clearance and Clinical Laboratory Improvements Amendments (CLIA) waivers from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Additionally, the Accula System has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA for SARS-CoV-2 in vitro diagnostic testing and is now available for use in patient care settings, providing results within 30 minutes.

“Mesa Biotech’s innovative platform will enable us to accelerate the availability of reliable and accurate advanced molecular diagnostics at the point of care,” said Mark Stevenson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific.

“The addition of Mesa Biotech’s easy-to-use, rapid PCR-based test is highly complementary to our existing offering and will further help us meet the continuing demand for COVID-related testing while we work to rapidly scale and develop point-of care tests for other infectious diseases in the future.”

Ingo Chakravarty, President and CEO of Mesa Biotech, added, “I am extremely proud of the remarkable accomplishments Mesa Biotech has achieved to date and excited about the prospects of becoming a part of Thermo Fisher. Mesa’s innovative rapid PCR platform technology, combining PCR accuracy with mobility and test results in 30 minutes, has already played a meaningful role in the collective efforts combating the pandemic. Thermo Fisher’s scale, innovation and global reach will allow us to more significantly amplify the impact our technology will have on human health during the pandemic and far beyond.”

The news comes less than a week after Thermo Fisher announced that it has completed the acquisition of Henogen, the Belgian-based viral vector manufacturing business of Groupe Novasep, for approximately €725 million in cash. The business will become part of the Pharma Services business within the Laboratory Products and Services Segment.

Henogen provides contract manufacturing services for vaccines and therapies to biotechnology companies and large biopharma customers. With two locations in Seneffe and Gosselies, Belgium, the business offers more than 7000 m2 of clinical and commercial manufacturing capacity. Founded more than 20 years ago, the business has approximately 400 employees with substantial operational and technical expertise in a broad range of viral vector classes and estimated 2020 revenue of €80 million.

“Novasep’s viral vector business is an excellent strategic fit as Thermo Fisher continues to expand its capabilities for cell and gene vaccines and therapies globally,” said Michel Lagarde, Executive Vice President of Thermo Fisher Scientific. “The addition of their manufacturing capabilities in Europe complements our four development and manufacturing sites in North America.

“In addition, they bring an incredibly talented team with more than two decades of experience across a broad range of viral vectors. The combination will benefit our global customers seeking support and capacity in the region as well as European customers bringing new medicines to patients inside and outside of Europe.”

Michel Spagnol, President and CEO of Novasep, said, “Thermo Fisher is an outstanding partner for our viral vector business and its future development. Our diverse customer base will benefit from the combination of our viral vector services capabilities with the scale and capabilities of Thermo Fisher. Our talented employees will bring deep expertise to an organisation that shares our commitment to providing groundbreaking new medicines to patients.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Worawut

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