Thermo Fisher to Buy POC Molecular Dx Provider Mesa Biotech

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Scientists conducting the process of Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify DNA by using a thermocycler to create samples
[Source: Monty Rakusen/Getty Images]

Thermo Fisher Scientific announced earlier this week a definitive agreement to acquire molecular diagnostics company Mesa Biotech 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’s PCR-based rapid point-of-care (POC) testing platform can detect infectious diseases including SARS-CoV-2, Influenza A and B, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and Strep A and brings nucleic acid PCR amplification to point-of-care diagnostics.

“Mesa Biotech’s innovative platform will enable us to accelerate the availability of reliable and accurate advanced molecular diagnostics at the point of care. Since the start of the pandemic, Thermo Fisher has acted quickly to provide support to the scientists and healthcare professionals at the frontlines of combating COVID-19,” said Mark Stevenson, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific in a press release. “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.”

Mesa Biotech’s Accula Flu A/Flu B, RSV and Strep A tests have obtained 510(k) clearance and CLIA waivers from the FDA, and its Accula System received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA for SARS-CoV-2 in vitro diagnostic testing. The test is available for use in patient care settings, providing results within 30 minutes, providing a higher accuracy than other rapid tests on the market, according to the company.

“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,” said Ingo Chakravarty, president and chief executive officer of Mesa Biotech.

Mesa, based in San Diego, has approximately 500 employees and revenues in 2020 of approximately $45 million. 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.

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