Avacta, a life sciences company developing targeted oncology drugs and diagnostics, has acquired Belgian firm Coris Bioconcept which develops, manufactures and markets rapid diagnostic test kits.
Avacta’s Diagnostics division is driving ambitious growth through an M&A-led strategy with the aim of supporting healthcare professionals and broadening access to high quality diagnostics. The strategy is focused on both acquiring routes into the diagnostics market and appropriate IP-rich product portfolios. The first acquisition, Launch Diagnostics, in October 2022 provides the group with a well-established route to market in the centralised professional healthcare market, primarily in the UK and France.
Avacta has acquired Coris for an upfront cash consideration of £7.4 million (on a debt-free/cash-free basis and subject to customary working capital adjustments), with an earnout based on future business performance, payable in cash, of up to £3.0 million.
Coris, based in Gembloux, Belgium and established in 1996, develops, manufactures and markets rapid diagnostic test kits, mainly lateral flow tests, for use by healthcare professionals. Coris is ISO 13485 certified and markets its products through distributors in Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and Oceania.
Operationally, Coris employs 35 members of staff split across production, sales, marketing, quality control, regulation and administration. In March 2023, the business completed the construction of a new 10,700 sq ft production, offices and warehouse facility in Gembloux.
Coris’ product portfolio comprises diagnostic tests for respiratory, gastro-enteric and blood-borne pathogens (bacteria, viruses and parasites) and for the detection of antibiotic resistance markers. As part of this portfolio, Coris markets a COVID-19 lateral flow test. Due to this, Avacta has taken the commercial decision to halt the redevelopment of its own AffiDX SARS-CoV-2 antigen lateral flow test.
The existing Coris management team will remain with the business and work closely with Avacta Diagnostics businesses to drive growth and margins through improved distribution channels and an expanded product range. Avacta will transfer its lateral flow product development activities to Coris and support that activity through ongoing development of Affimer reagents for new products or to enhance existing ones.
Dr Alastair Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Avacta Group plc, commented: “The acquisition of Coris provides the Group with a broad, professional-use rapid test product portfolio. Complementing the acquisition of Launch Diagnostics last year, the acquisition represents an important step in establishing a full-spectrum in-vitro diagnostics business covering centralised, pathology laboratory diagnostics, as well as decentralised, point-of-care testing solutions outside the hospital setting. With this acquisition, our Diagnostics division has taken another important step towards realising its mission to support healthcare professionals and broaden access to high quality diagnostics.”