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Novacyt Acquires Instrument Manufacturer IT-IS for £10.1M

NEW YORK ─ Novacyt on Thursday announced the acquisition of IT-IS International, the exclusive manufacturer of its q16 and q32 rapid PCR instruments.

Paris-based Novacyt will pay £10.1 million ($13.1 million) in cash upfront for the issued share capital of IT-IS and business assets of IT-IS Life Science (Ireland).

The acquisition of Stokesley, UK-based IT-IS, a private diagnostic instrument development and manufacturing company founded in 2004, secures important intellectual property for its q16 and q32 rapid-PCR instruments for near-patient testing of COVID-19, Novacyt said. The acquisition further expands its core capabilities in instrument manufacturing and product offerings in mobile PCR devices, the firm added.

"IT-IS has established a reputation as experts in the development of mobile and rapid PCR instruments," Graham Mullis, group CEO of Novacyt, said in a statement. "This acquisition ensures that Novacyt is in a strong position to fulfill the growing market demands for rapid near-patient testing of COVID-19, as well as other infectious diseases."

Novacyt said that as a result of this acquisition, it will become a diagnostic platform instrument and reagent manufacturer and will significantly increase the manufacturing capability of IT-IS to manage the expected demand for its q16 and q32 PCR instruments.

As a result of higher manufacturing volume, Novacyt expects to reduce its cost of goods and therefore improve the gross margin of its instrument sales.

Novacyt added that the COVID-19 pandemic presents it with a significant opportunity to place rapid mobile testing instruments as shortages in testing capacity and limitations of laboratory-based testing drives healthcare away from large centralized platforms.

The acquisition of IT-IS includes customers, suppliers, software, patents, trademarks, contracts, stocks, technical files, and know-how to design, manufacture, distribute, and market IT-IS's commercial product portfolio. The product portfolio includes IT-IS-branded MyGo Mini and MyGo Pro PCR instruments.

Novacyt said that the acquisition is immediately accretive to earnings. IT-IS posted revenues of £3.9 million and a net profit of £800,000 for fiscal year 2019, and revenues are expected to increase to £5.0 million for fiscal year 2020.