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Mobidiag, Autobio Diagnostics to Form Joint Venture in China

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Mobidiag, a Finnish molecular diagnostics maker, has entered an agreement with Chinese clinical diagnostics firm Autobio Diagnostics to establish a joint venture in China. Separately, Autobio Diagnostics has made a €10 million ($11.3 million) equity investment in Mobidiag, the firms announced today.

Mobidiag and Autobio will invest a total of €12.3 million to establish the joint venture company, with Autobio investing €8 million in the JV for a 65 percent stake, and Mobidiag investing €4.3 million for a 35 percent stake. 

Mobidiag will grant an exclusive license for human infectious disease assays, except for sepsis assays, to the joint venture. 

The venture will, in turn, register the Mobidiag Novodiag platform and assays for meningitis, respiratory infections, and gastroenteric infections, with the National Medical Products Administration, formerly called the China Food and Drug Administration. In addition, the venture will establish local manufacturing facilities for some Novodiag components and disposables. 

"We are excited to enter into this new joint venture with Autobio Diagnostics, a leader in the IVD field in China," said Tuomas Tenkanen, CEO of Mobidiag, in a statement. "We are confident that their unparalleled access to the rapidly growing Chinese market, combined with Mobidiag's deep expertise in molecular diagnostics, will result in a successful partnership that will bring syndromic diagnostic panels to China at an affordable price," Tenkanen added.

Yongjun Miao, Autobio's chairman, noted challenges in treating infectious diseases in China in a timely and effective manner and said the misuse of antibiotics is not uncommon, in part due to a lack of rapid, accurate and low-cost diagnosis of pathogens.

"Mobidiag's Novodiag system is low cost, easy to operate, multi-target, and has a wide application and great market prospects," Miao said, adding that the cost advantages of setting up a joint venture in China will further enhance the competitiveness of the Novodiag system. 

Mobidiag will use the €10 million equity investment from Autobio to grow its product portfolio, accelerate development of additional Novodiag assays, enhance manufacturing capabilities, and continue commercial expansion.

"The €10 million equity investment strengthens our cash balance and will allow us to advance our wider strategy to grow sales internationally and launch more innovative and affordable molecular solutions to advance the diagnosis of infectious diseases and antibiotic resistances," said Tenkanen.