CPhI Online

Thermo Fisher snaps up diagnostic specialist Mesa Biotech for $450 million

Gareth Carpenter — 20 Jan 2021

Acquisition will add Mesa's rapid PCR test for infectious diseases including COVID-19 to global CDMO's diagnostics offering

Thermo Fisher Scientific has agreed to buy Mesa Biotech, a privately held molecular diagnostic company which has developed and commercialised a PCR-based rapid testing platform for infectious diseases including SARS-Cov-2, 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.

As well as coronavirus, Mesa Biotech's point-of-care platform can also detect Influenza A and B, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and Strep A. The company is based in San Diego, California and has approximately 500 employees and revenues in 2020 of approximately $45 million.

Mesa's Accula System has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration for SARS-CoV-2 in vitro diagnostic testing and is now available for use in patient care settings, providing results within 30 minutes. The company'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 FDA.

"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 chief executive officer of Mesa Biotech said, "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 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.