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Bionano Genomics Acquires Diagnostic Services Provider Lineagen for $9.6M

NEW YORK – Bionano Genomics said on Monday that it has acquired Lineagen, a Salt Lake City-based diagnostic services provider.

In a statement, Bionano said it paid approximately $9.6 million in total, consisting of approximately 6.2 million shares of Bionano's common stock and about $1.7 million in cash. Bionano will also assume approximately $2.9 million in liabilities held by Lineagen. Bionano said the deal brings in CLIA-certified diagnostic testing services as well as expertise in commercializing cytogenetic assays, genetic counseling, third party payor contracts, and reimbursement.

Concurrent with the acquisition, Bionano paid about $1.1 million to satisfy outstanding principal and accrued interest amounts pursuant to a Paycheck Protection Program loan issued to Lineagen under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

"Lineagen has been a pioneer in clinical testing for structural variations in patients with neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder, developmental delay, and other constitutional genetic diseases," Bionano CEO Erik Holmlin said in a statement. "These are indications where the information provided by Lineagen's menu of assays can significantly improve management and they are core areas of strategic and clinical interest to Bionano. This acquisition adds that business and accelerates our efforts to bring Saphyr to clinical testing within a CLIA environment by adding essential skills and relationships with physicians and payors in place at Lineagen."

Bionano markets the Saphyr optical genome mapping platform, a technology that can resolve structural genomic variants larger than 500 bp. In addition to research use, some labs have developed their own clinical assays on the platform, especially in hematologic oncology and constitutional cytogenetics. The San Diego-based firm is pushing to make Saphyr a replacement for traditional methods in cytogenetics, placing instruments in labs for that purpose; Bionano also hired Alka Chaubey as its first chief medical officer last week.

"Beginning with the commercial introduction of our FirstStepDx Plus assay over nine years ago, which is based on structural variation detection, Lineagen demonstrated that we could innovate in the established field of cytogenetics by combining proprietary content, interpretation software, and genomics databases with state-of-the-art genome analysis technology," Lineagen Chief Strategy Officer and former CEO Michael Paul said in a statement. "Bionano's Saphyr system for comprehensive structural variation analysis allows the combined companies to expand and accelerate this innovation process and develop, validate, and introduce novel tests that outperform those based on traditional sequencing or cytogenetic technologies." 

Lineagen was advised by Evolution Life Science Partners in the deal.

In Monday morning trading on the Nasdaq, shares of Bionano Genomics were down 3 percent at $.62.