(Thermo Fisher Scientific)

Thermo Fisher Acquisitions Help Meet COVID-19 and Other Disease Testing Demands

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Mesa Biotech, Inc., a privately held molecular diagnostic company, for approximately $450 million in cash. Under the terms of the agreement, Thermo Fisher will pay up to an additional $100 million in cash upon the completion of certain milestones following the close of the transaction.

Mesa Biotech has developed and commercialized a PCR-based rapid point-of-care testing platform available for detecting infectious diseases including SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), Influenza A and B, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and Strep A. Mesa Biotech’s patented technology expands the availability of gold standard nucleic acid PCR amplification to point-of-care diagnostics. The company is based in San Diego, California and has approximately 500 employees and revenues in 2020 of approximately $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 U.S. 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. Thermo Fisher reports that it has higher accuracy than other rapid tests on the market.

Mark Stevenson, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific, said the addition of Mesa Biotech’s rapid PCR-based test will help to meet the continuing demand for COVID-related testing while the company works to rapidly scale and develop point-of care tests for other infectious diseases in the future.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval. Upon completion, the business will become part of Thermo Fisher’s Life Sciences Solutions Segment. 

Meanwhile, Thermo Fisher has completed the acquisition of Henogen S.A., Novasep’s viral vector manufacturing business in Belgium for approximately €725 million in cash.

Novasep’s viral vector manufacturing business provides contract manufacturing services for vaccines and therapies to biotechnology companies and large biopharma customers. With two locations in Seneffe and Gosselies, Belgium, Novasep’s viral vector business offers more than 7,000 square meters of state-of-the-art 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 (or approximately $95 million). This business will be part of Thermo Fisher’s Pharma Services business within the Laboratory Products and Services Segment.

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