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Lab21 acquires molecular diagnostics company Myconostica Ltd.

04:46 EDT 23 May 2011 | BioPortfolio

Cambridge, UK and Greenville, SC, USA, May 23rd - Lab21 Limited, the global specialist in personalised medicine and clinical diagnostics has today announced that it has acquired Myconostica Ltd, a molecular diagnostic company focussing on the diagnosis of fungal infections of clinical importance.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition of Myconostica expands Lab21’s growing proprietary diagnostic portfolio and will provide the Company’s first set of nucleic acid-based assays. Furthermore it will provide manufacturing capabilities for Lab21 from which it will develop and produce its range of new biomarker assays.

There is a major unmet market need for diagnosis of life threatening invasive fungal disease and the Myconostica products are leaders in this market. Current fungal diagnostic tests based on culturing techniques have significant clinical limitations and Myconostica’s molecular diagnostic approach provides more rapid, sensitive and specific information which will improve clinical outcomes. In addition to developing global sales of Myconostica products, Lab21 will also be launching the Myconostica fungal testing services from its new reference laboratory in South Carolina as well as its laboratory in Cambridge, UK.

Graham Mullis, CEO of Lab21, commented: “We are delighted that we have acquired Myconostica. The company’s products complement our infectious diseases portfolio and help position the Company in a large market where there are significant clinical challenges”.

This transaction further validates Lab21’s growing position as a key diagnostic player adding new products to its infectious disease portfolio and represents its sixth acquisition over the past two years.

Speaking about the transaction, Professor David Denning of the University Hospital of South Manchester, founder and Chief Medical Officer of Myconostica said: ”We have developed fast and sensitive molecular diagnostics for life threatening fungal infections such as aspergillosis and pneumocystis pneumonia, that will transform patient care for these infections. Fungal infections are frequently under-diagnosed using current diagnostic methods and are much more common than realised. The global reach of Lab21’s operations will extend the availability of Myconostica’s products to many more clinicians. I look forward to working with Lab21 to further develop the evidence base demonstrating the great clinical value of molecular testing for fungi, as is routine for viruses.”

Myconostica has three CE-marked products on the market in Europe, Canada and Southern Africa which were launched in 2010, capable of running on a wide range of testing platforms. These include a product for extracting fungal DNA from human samples and tests for the detection of Aspergillus and Pneumocystis jirovecii.

The global market for fast and reliable invasive fungal infection diagnosis is substantial, with more than 10 million patients each year at risk of life threatening fungal infections and reducing the time to treatment and higher sensitivity to detect cases will save lives.

ENDS

For further information:

Lab21
Graham Mullis, CEO
Susan Lowther, CFO
Berwyn Clarke, CSO
t: +44 (0)1223 395450
e: graham.mullis@lab21.com
e: susan.lowther@lab21.com
e: berwyn.clarke@lab21.com

For media and investor enquiries:
College Hill

Nicole Yost / Gemma Howe
t: +44 (0)20 7457 2020
e: lab21@collegehill.com

About Lab21
Lab21 is a global leader in personalised healthcare. It provides diagnostic products and services and supports blood bank screening, medical diagnostics and drug discovery. Lab21 customers include international healthcare providers, pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies. The Products division of Lab21 manufactures immunodiagnostic kits and reagents that are distributed internationally and is focused on infectious diseases for the blood-banking and clinical markets. Our clinical services operations has a growing test portfolio providing companion diagnostics and high technology molecular assays. Lab21's corporate offices are based in Cambridge, UK and South Carolina, USA with a GMP manufacturing site in Cambridge and other manufacturing facilities in Newmarket, Camberley and Bridport. Website: www.lab21.com

About Myconostica
Myconostica Ltd, a UK-based medical diagnostic company, spun-out from The University of Manchester, specialises in rapid molecular diagnostic tests for life-threatening fungal infections. Traditional methods of the detection of fungal infections are well documented as being relatively insensitive and slow. Tests provided by Myconostica aim to allow healthcare professionals to rapidly identify patients infected thus enabling clinicians to prescribe appropriate drug therapy. Myconostica is developing and commercialising a portfolio of real-time molecular diagnostic tests for life-threatening fungal infections. Over 10 million people are at risk of these infections each year in Europe and North America alone. Aspergillosis affects leukaemia, transplant and corticosteroid-treated patients, including asthma and COPD. Pneumocystis affects HIV-infected and AIDS patients as well as many others with sub-optimal immune symptoms.

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