Under the terms of the agreement, Thermo Fisher will pay up to an additional $100 million in cash upon the completion of certain milestones following the close of the transaction.
Mesa Biotech has developed and commercialized a PCR-based rapid point-of-care testing platform available for detecting infectious diseases including SARS-CoV-2, Influenza A and B, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and Strep A. The San Diego-based company has approximately 500 employees and revenues in 2020 of approximately $45 million.
Mesa Biotech’s Accula Flu A/Flu B, RSV and Strep A tests have obtained 510(k) clearance and Clinical Laboratory Improvements Amendments (CLIA) waivers from the FDA. The agency also granted emergency use authorization for the Accula system for SARS-CoV-2 in vitro diagnostic testing outside a central laboratory with diagnostic results in 30 minutes and higher accuracy than other rapid tests on the market, according to Thermo Fisher.
The acquisition follows a banner year for Thermo Fisher, the maker of scientific instruments, reagents and consumables. The Waltham, Mass.-based company’s stock hit an all-time high of $527.66 in November 2o20 — a 48% increase since the beginning of the year.
The technology was developed at Los Alamos National Lab with support from National Institutes of Health grants from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Western Regional Centers for Excellence in Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Disease program. In March 2020, Mesa won a $561,000 contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop the test.
“Mesa Biotech’s innovative platform will enable us to accelerate the availability of reliable and accurate advanced molecular diagnostics at the point of care. Since the start of the pandemic, Thermo Fisher has acted quickly to provide support to the scientists and healthcare professionals at the frontlines of combating COVID-19,” said Thermo Fisher Scientific EVP & COO Mark Stevenson in a news release. “The addition of Mesa Biotech’s easy-to-use, rapid PCR-based test is highly complementary to our existing offering and will further help us meet the continuing demand for COVID-related testing while we work to rapidly scale and develop point-of-care tests for other infectious diseases in the future.”
“I am extremely proud of the remarkable accomplishments Mesa Biotech has achieved to date and excited about the prospects of becoming a part of Thermo Fisher,” added Mesa Biotech president & CEO Ingo Chakravarty. “Thermo Fisher’s scale, innovation and global reach will allow us to more significantly amplify the impact our technology will have on human health, during the pandemic, and far beyond.”
The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval. Upon completion, the business will become part of Thermo Fisher’s life sciences solutions segment.
Shares in Thermo Fisher opened at $508 today, up $4.88.