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Avacta Acquires Coris Bioconcept in Deal Potentially Worth £10.4M

NEW YORK – Cancer immunotherapy and diagnostics developer Avacta Group said Thursday that it has acquired Coris Bioconcept, a developer of rapid diagnostic test kits, for up to £10.4 million ($13.0 million).

UK-based Avacta said that, under the terms of the deal, it will pay £7.4 million in cash upfront and make a performance-based payout of up to £3 million. The firm said its diagnostics division is driving growth through an M&A-led strategy that is focused on "acquiring routes into the diagnostics market and appropriate IP-rich product portfolios."

The firm said a previous deal, the October 2022 acquisition of Launch Diagnostics, gave it an established route to sell to the centralized professional healthcare market, especially in the UK and France.

"The acquisition of Coris provides the Group with a broad, professional-use rapid test product portfolio," said Avacta CEO Alastair Smith. "Complementing the acquisition of Launch Diagnostics last year, the acquisition represents an important step in establishing a full-spectrum in vitro diagnostics business covering centralized pathology laboratory diagnostics as well as decentralized point-of-care testing solutions outside the hospital setting."

Gembloux, Belgium-based Coris employs 35 people and sells diagnostic tests for respiratory, gastro-enteric, and blood-borne pathogens as well as for the markers of antibiotic resistance. According to Avacta, Coris recorded about £4.6 million in unaudited revenues in 2022, most of that from non-COVID-19 products, and an after-tax loss of £20,000. About 80 percent of its revenue comes from Europe, 12 percent from the Americas, and the rest from the regions of Africa, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East.

Because Coris makes a COVID-19 lateral flow assay, Avacta has halted redevelopment of its own AffiDx SARS-CoV-2 lateral flow test. Avacta also plans to transfer its lateral flow test development activities to Coris and continue developing Avacta's Affimer reagents for new and existing tests.