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Bosch, R-Biopharm to Invest €150M in PCR Tests for Vivalytic MDx Platform

NEW YORK – Bosch and R-Biopharm said Thursday that they will jointly invest €150 million ($160 million) by the end of the decade into the development and marketing of new in vitro diagnostic PCR assays for Bosch's Vivalytic point-of-care platform, including a test for multidrug resistant bacteria.

The investment by the two German firms is in addition to the €150 million that Bosch and UK-based Randox Laboratories said last week they will commit to research, development, and distribution of point-of-care tests for the Vivalytic instrument, starting with a multiplex sepsis test. Bosch, Randox, and R-Biopharm have not disclosed how much each firm is investing through the two partnerships.

Bosch Healthcare Solutions, the Waiblingen-based subsidiary of Bosch that makes the Vivalytic, and Darmstadt-based R-Biopharm said they aim to achieve sales "in the medium nine-figure range" of euros by 2030.

Among their goals is the development of a test that will use Bosch's BioMEMS microelectromechanical and microfluidic technology, which underlies the Vivalytic platform, for the identification of multidrug resistant Gram-negative bacteria to inform antibiotic treatment.

The firms also said they want to develop PCR assays for the detection of tuberculosis and the determination of other types of drug resistance.

Stefan Hartung, chairman of Bosch's board of management, said in a statement that the company sees medical technology as a strategic growth area and is bringing to bear its experience with microchips, molecular diagnostics, and miniaturization, as well as manufacturing. "In medical technology, partnership models are a useful way of shortening product cycles and opening up distribution channels in this dynamic, innovative market," he said.

R-Biopharm will contribute its expertise in clinical and food diagnostics, including its global sales channels and market knowledge. "Our partnership with Bosch Healthcare Solutions marks a significant milestone in the implementation of the R-Biopharm Group's growth strategy in the field of clinical diagnostics," Frank Apostel, the company's chief operating officer, said in a statement.