Spanish world market leader for nucleic acid-based virus screening in blood banks, Grifols, has confirmed the purchase price for US-based Hologic's NAT donor screening unit.
Barcelona-headquartered Grifols said it has signed an agreement with Hologic to acquire the nucleic acid testing (NAT) donor screening unit from the US company for a purchase price of US$1.85bn (€1.75bn). Under the agreement, Grifols acquires all assets related to manufacture and R&D of NAT assays that detect infectious agents such as viruses in donor blood samples and plasma. The deal includes a production plant of Hologic in San Diego, as well as development rights, licenses to patents and access to product manufacturers.
With the transaction, Grifols backs its global leadership in transfusion medicine safety. Currently the company’s Transcription-Mediated Amplification (TMA) platform Procleix for quantification of early viral gene sequences in donor blood bottles has a market share of 55%.
“This acquisition is part of the growth strategy foreseen for the Diagnostic Division,” said Victor Grífols Sr, Chairman and CEO of Grifols. “It is an obvious step that allows us to strengthen a leading position that we first achieved in 2014 in transfusion diagnostics with the acquisition of assets from Novartis, which, among other things, included the rights to market transfusion medicine assays and instruments using NAT technology. With this new transaction, we have contributed our vertical integration process as we also have control over the production and R&D phases,” concluded Grífols, who also announced he will retire after the acquisition.
Currently, Hologic’s EBITDA in NAT donor screening is above US$160m. The acquisition is structured through Grifols Diagnostic Solutions, the US arm of Grifols S.A. Grifols said it expects the transaction to positively impact group margins and operating cash flows. According to the Spanish company, revenues of its diagnostic division will not change through the acquisition due to the existing joint-business between Grifols and Hologic in place since 2014. Under the existing arrangement, Grifols owns customer facing activities and records all revenues. In this respect, the Diagnostic Division's sales will continue to represent around 16% of Grifols’ total revenue.
Nucleic acid-based detection of infectious agents in blood and plasma donations are considered the most advanced technology due to sensitive detection of viral infections and reduction of the so-called window period. This is the interval between donor exposure to a virus and production of antibodies against it. Many countries use the NAT technology to optimise transfusion safety for detection of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), West Nile virus, Parvo/ hepatitis A virus (HAV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) or Zika.