bioMérieux strengthens its commitment to fight antimicrobial resistance with the acquisition of Specific Diagnostics, an innovative company focusing on fast AST solution

Marcy l’Étoile, France, April 12th 2022 – bioMérieux, a world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics, announces that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Specific Diagnostics, a privately held U.S. based company that has developed a rapid antimicrobial susceptibility test (AST) system that delivers phenotypic AST directly from positive blood cultures. bioMérieux has held a minority stake in Specific Diagnostics since 2019, and the two companies had signed a co-distribution agreement covering the European market in 2021.

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a global threat, with infections from antibiotic resistant pathogens being one of the leading causes of death around the world1. For clinicians to save patients’ lives and rapidly optimize therapies, fast and accurate AST results and interpretation are critical. In addition to improving patient outcomes, rapid AST also reduces global AMR burdens by enabling the implementation of effective institutional Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) programs. In perfect alignment with bioMérieux’s priority to provide innovative diagnostics to support Antimicrobial Stewardship, the SPECIFIC REVEAL Rapid AST system provides actionable results for Gram-negative bacteria directly from positive blood cultures in an average of 5 hours2. This helps clinicians to address the challenge of bloodstream infections, allowing either timely deescalation to a focused, more appropriate, and lower-cost therapy, or life-saving rapid escalation to more effective therapy where a multidrug-resistant (MDR) infection is present.

With the addition of SPECIFIC REVEAL Rapid AST, the unique and comprehensive bioMérieux Sepsis Solution allows same-day AST results for Gram-negative bacteria to enable more targeted therapy and improve patient outcomes. Developed by Specific Diagnostics, and based on its unique, patented metabolomic signature technology, the SPECIFIC REVEAL Rapid AST system offers an easy-to-use instrument with a targeted menu, small footprint, and modular design for adaptable throughput, well-suited to address the needs of clinical laboratories. SPECIFIC REVEAL seamlessly integrates with bioMérieux’s Sepsis Solution including BACT/ALERT® VIRTUO®, VITEK® MS PRIME, BIOFIRE® BCID2, VIDAS® PCT and VITEK®2 leveraged by Lab Consultancy and the Data & IT analytics suite as enablers of its full value.

The addition of SPECIFIC REVEAL to bioMérieux’s portfolio happens as the company recently announced the FDA approval of VITEK® MS PRIME.

Alexandre Mérieux, Chairman and CEO of bioMérieux declared: “This acquisition reinforces our long-standing commitment to sustain antibiotic efficacy for future generations. With the addition of Specific Diagnostics’ REVEAL Rapid AST system into our microbiology portfolio, bioMérieux further supports clinicians and laboratories in further improving patient outcomes and enhancing antimicrobial stewardship, leveraging our extensive distribution network.”

“We are proud to join bioMérieux, a world leader in infectious disease diagnostics that is focusing so much on the fight against antimicrobial resistance” said Paul A. Rhodes, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Specific Diagnostics. “bioMérieux’s global reach, commercial excellence, and deep and abiding commitment to product research will ensure the further development of our REVEAL Rapid AST system and its impact on human lives for years to come.”

Mark Miller, Executive Vice President, Chief Medical Officer, bioMérieux explained: “By combining the advanced technology of the SPECIFIC REVEAL Rapid AST solution for bloodstream infections with our existing solutions, we are increasing the ability of laboratories to deliver results in record time, especially in cases of very critical infections such as sepsis, which require urgent and appropriate treatment.”

Financial information
Under the terms of the agreement, bioMérieux will acquire 100% ownership of Specific Diagnostics for an acquisition price equivalent to 3.3% of bioMérieux market capitalization as of April 11, 2022. The acquisition price will be paid with a combination of cash and shares issued to certain Specific Diagnostics shareholders. The issuance of new bioMérieux shares shall result in a share dilution of approximately 1%. bioMérieux intends to launch a share buyback program, post-closing, to offset this share dilution over time. Completion of this acquisition remains subject to usual closing conditions, in particular certain regulatory approvals. The deal is expected to close by the end of Q2 2022.

Thanks to this acquisition, bioMérieux expects to further develop its global leadership in clinical microbiology, bringing major innovation to the market and further strengthening its fight against Antimicrobial Resistance.

1 Murray et al., Lancet 2022; 399: 629–55
2 Tibbetts et al., ECCMID 2020 and in review

bioMérieux’s healthcare mission is to help sustain the use of antibiotic efficacy for generations to come. To support hospitals, institutions, and laboratories with their AMS programs, bioMérieux has a complete solution covering antibiotic therapy initiation, optimization, and discontinuation. This constantly evolving offer provides timely, accurate results to adjust therapy, transforms data into actionable insights, and integrates smoothly into any hospital with its flexible partnership approach. bioMérieux has over 55 years of microbiology expertise with more than 75% of its R&D directed to research on antimicrobial resistance to ensure the current offer evolves to meet customers’ AMS needs.

Pioneering Diagnostics
A world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics since 1963, bioMérieux is present in 44 countries and serves more than 160 countries with the support of a large network of distributors. In 2021, revenues reached €3.4 billion, with over 90% of sales outside of France. bioMérieux provides diagnostic solutions (systems, reagents, software and services) which determine the source of disease and contamination to improve patient health and ensure consumer safety. Its products are mainly used for diagnosing infectious diseases. They are also used for detecting microorganisms in agri-food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.