Are We in Store for More M&A in the Liquid Biopsy Space?

M&A activity in the liquid biopsy space is picking up as Bio-Techne said it will acquire Exosome Diagnostics for $250 million plus $325 million in potential milestones.

M&A activity in the liquid biopsy space is picking up as Bio-Techne said it will acquire Exosome Diagnostics for $250 million plus $325 million in milestones.

Waltham, MA-based Exosome has developed the urine-based test ExoDx Prostate (IntelliScore) to assist physicians in determining the need for a prostate biopsy in patients with an ambiguous PSA test result.

“This is a very strategic acquisition for us as we also expand in the CAR-T cell marketplace, leveraging our growing critical mass in cell culture-focused product lines,” Charles Kummeth, president and CEO of Bio-Techne said in a release. “Following this acquisition, the company now sells solutions to the entire workflow of cancer: research, diagnostics and therapeutics.

Minneapolis, MN-based Bio-Techne said the transaction is expected to close in July or early August. The deal will be financed through a combination of cash on hand and a revolving line of credit facility that Bio-Techne said it expects to obtain prior to the closing of the acquisition.

Liquid Biopsy has always been a hot sector venture capitalists. For instance, Grail, which was spun off from San Diego-based, Illumina raised $1 billion in a series B round. The company brought in about $100 million in initial funding. Grail’s rival, Redwood City, CA-based Guardant Health raised $360 million in May of last year.

But now it seems as if the space is ripe for M&A. Over the past few years there have been several high-profile liquid biopsy acquisitions.

Earlier this month, Roche flexed its M&A muscle by making a play to pick up the remaining shares of Foundation Medicine for $2.4 billion. The deal marks a turning point in Roche's relationship with Foundation Medicine, which dates back to January 2015 when Roche invested roughly $1.03 billion to acquire a majority interest in Foundation Medicine.

Precipio acquired Transgenomics last year and stressed the driving point behind the merger was the technology. Precipio became a public company through the acquisition.

And in 2016, Siemens acquired German Startup, Neo New Oncology. Through the acquisition, Siemens was able to obtain a NeOliquid test for the analysis of genomic profiles of solid tumors from a simple blood sample.

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