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Going with the flow
September 2011
by Kimberley Sirk  |  Email the author
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BETHLEHEM, Pa.—In late July, OraSure Technologies Inc. made it known that it was in the process of acquiring privately held DNA Genotek Inc., a Canadian provider of oral fluid sample collection, stabilization and preparation products for molecular diagnostic applications. DNA Genotek is a leading provider of oral fluid collection devices to the direct-to-consumer personal genetics testing market.   The deal closed on Aug.17, and cost OraSure just under $51 million in cash in U.S. currency.
 
The purchase strengthens OraSure's position in oral fluid diagnostics by providing OraSure with a complementary portfolio of products that enable easy and reliable collection, stabilization, transportation and storage of high-quality nucleic acid (DNA and RNA) samples. These samples can then be used for a wide range of diagnostic and research applications.
 
DNA Genotek blazed its own trail in the nucleic acid collection market with products that provide substantial advantages over traditional methods such as blood or buccal swabs, including the reliable collection of high-quality genetic samples using a simple, non-invasive method and the ability to transport and store collected samples for extended periods at ambient temperatures.
 
Products in DNA Genotek's portfolio include a saliva test that can detect a biomarker related to nicotine dependence.
 
"We targeted entry into the $4 billion molecular diagnostics market given the magnitude and rapid growth profile of the segment," said Douglas A. Michels, president and CEO of OraSure Technologies, in a prepared statement. "Our companies share a common capability and passion to develop best-in-class oral fluid-based solutions. Since 2004, DNA Genotek has posted impressive financial revenue growth and profitability, and we fully expect that solid performance to continue."
 
Company representatives did not respond to questions posed to them for this story.
 
"Joining forces with OraSure at this time will be instrumental in taking DNA Genotek to the next level. Together, we will have the ability to capitalize more quickly on the tremendous opportunity in the rapidly growing molecular research and clinical diagnostic markets," comments Ian Curry, president and CEO of DNA Genotek. "Our companies both endeavor to provide high-quality, non-invasive sample collection devices, and the combination of our resources will significantly enhance our ability to deliver industry-leading solutions to our customers.
 
"The two organizations are complementary from a technology and people perspective," Curry continues. "We have been impressed with the leadership at OraSure and look forward to working closely with them."
 
In a letter to customers, Curry said DNA Genotek will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of OraSure and maintain all of its operations in Ottawa, Canada, keeping the company's team and structure intact.
 
DNA Genotek serves more than 3,000 customers in approximately 100 countries worldwide, including many of the top research universities and hospitals in the United States. DNA Genotek's lead product, the Oragene DNA sample collection kit, provides an all-in-one system for the collection, stabilization, transportation and purification of DNA from saliva. DNA Genotek products are used in the academic research, clinical genetic testing, pharmacogenomics, personalized medicine, animal genetics and livestock genetics markets. The company says it has realized significant revenue growth over the past four years, and has been profitable in both operating and net income each year during that period.
 
OraSure Technologies is a leader in the development, manufacture and distribution of oral fluid diagnostic devices and other technologies designed to diagnose critical medical conditions and diseases. Its innovative products include rapid tests for the detection of antibodies to HIV and HCV at the point of care and testing solutions for detecting various drugs of abuse. These products enable healthcare providers to deliver critical information to patients, empowering them to make decisions to improve and protect their health. OraSure's products are sold globally to various clinical laboratories, hospitals, clinics, community-based organizations and other public health organizations, distributors, government agencies, physicians' offices and commercial and industrial entities.
 
Code: E091113

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