Bio-Techne Invests In California-Based Astute Medical

Move expands company’s presence in diagnostics market.

Minneapolis-based Bio-Techne Corp. has made a “strategic” equity investment in San Diego-based Astute Medical Inc. The company did not disclose its exact investment, which was part of a $43 million financing round that also included existing Astute Medical investors.
“Strengthening our presence in the diagnostic market remains a natural fit and strategic priority for Bio-Techne,” Chuck Kummeth, Bio-Techne’s president and CEO said in a statement.
Bio-Techne develops, manufactures and sells specialized proteins for the research and clinical diagnostic markets. Astute Medical focuses on identifying biological markers (“biomarkers” in medical parlance) to identify and assess high-risk, acute medical conditions.
Astute Medical, founded in 2007, has developed a test, which can help determine if critically ill patients have or are at risk for acute kidney injury. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted clearance for the company to market its NephroCheck in September 2014.
The new “strategic partnership” for Bio-Techne includes some manufacturing rights for future products and includes an “option to further expand the relationship” with Astute Medical.
The company’s statement noted: “This minority equity investment marks a decisive movement for Bio-Techne as part of a long-term strategy to expand its presence in the branded diagnostic market.”
Bio-Techne has been on a buying streak in recent years: the company has made 9 acquisitions since July 2013. On August 1, BioTechne completed its deal to buy California-based Advanced Cell Diagnostics, which has developed diagnostic tests that can support “personalized medicine”—care specifically tailored to an individual patient.
Bio-Techne paid $250 million in cash for Advanced Cell Diagnostics and could pay up to $75 million more, contingent on certain milestones. Advanced Cell Diagnostics is based in Silicon Valley, an area rich with startups and venture capital investors. The deal marked the Bio-Techne’s first venture into the genomics market.
Bio-Techne reported a net profit of $104.5 million on revenue of $499 million for its fiscal 2016, which ended June 30. The company’s revenue is up 61 percent since the end of its fiscal 2013, before the recent series of acquisitions began.
The company’s 40-year history began in 1976 when it was founded in Minneapolis as Research and Diagnostic Systems Inc.