bioMerieux Acquires Chinese Rapid Test Manufacturer Meikang Biotech

Company to leverage new production site to capture growth in China and expand Point of Care and rapid diagnostics offer for both emerging and developed countries

Jan 14, 2010, 08:00 ET from bioMerieux

MARCY L'ETOILE, France, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- A world leader in in vitro diagnostics, bioMerieux announced today the acquisition of the rapid test manufacturer, Meikang Biotech, and its large production site in Shanghai. This important milestone will reinforce bioMerieux's position in the Point of Care and rapid test markets for both emerging and developed countries. The acquisition highlights bioMerieux's continued business expansion in fast-growing emerging markets, giving the company fully-owned, integrated manufacturing and R&D capabilities in China.

"With this acquisition, we are gaining a strategic foothold in China, the country that should drive the most growth in the next 10 years, and significant assets to enhance our product offering for Point of Care, a segment with a double digit annual growth rate. We are now poised to become a major player in Point of Care with manual rapid tests including the QuickVue® range and the automated handheld device from our Philips partnership announced last week," said Stephane Bancel, bioMerieux Chief Executive Officer. "This also represents a significant step in the globalization of our company: bioMerieux will now have leaders based in three corporate hubs, in Marcy l'Etoile, France, Cambridge, USA and Shanghai, China."

Ideally located between downtown Shanghai and the international airport, Meikang Biotech's 2 hectare (4 1/2 acre) site houses R&D and commercial operations in addition to 9,000 m(2) of GMP and ISO certified manufacturing facilities, producing 30 million tests per year. Currently dedicated to rapid tests, production activities at this site will be expanded in the coming years to other products for global markets.

Founded in 1992, Meikang Biotech has 250 employees and contractors working at its site. The company has a wide range of rapid tests based on lateral flow immunoassay technology, including tests for infectious diseases, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Many of these products are CE marked and some have received FDA 510k approval. 2009 revenues for Meikang Biotech are estimated at about euro 5 million.

By mid 2010, bioMerieux intends to establish its Greater China headquarters, as well as Asia-Pacific and corporate offices at the newly acquired site. From a commercial base in China, bioMerieux will move to a fully integrated corporate center of excellence with R&D, Manufacturing, Quality Assurance, Regulatory Affairs, Marketing and Logistics all based in Shanghai. bioMerieux also intends to set up a customer training center for Asia-Pacific and to use the site as a base for field support to customers and distributors in the region.

bioMerieux in China

bioMerieux already has a solid base in China. Alain Merieux and Institut Merieux have been active there since 1978 and bioMerieux has had a Chinese subsidiary since 1992, with headquarters today in Shanghai and 5 regional offices. bioMerieux China has more than 100 employees and a large network of distributors. bioMerieux's product portfolio is well adapted to the Chinese market, where there are significant needs for infectious disease diagnostics. The Chinese in vitro diagnostics market is growing very rapidly, at 15-20% per year. As of September 2009, bioMerieux sales there had risen 26%. bioMerieux also has a number of ongoing collaborations with Chinese institutions and companies. These include an agreement with the Chinese Ministry of Health for healthcare-associated infection control, the first of its kind ever signed with a private company; a bioMerieux research team working in a joint unit at the Fudan University Cancer Hospital in Shanghai and a co-enterprise with Shanghai Kehua Bio-engineering for the production of immunoassay microplates.

About bioMerieux

Advancing diagnostics to improve public health

A world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics for over 45 years, bioMerieux is present in more than 150 countries through 39 subsidiaries and a large network of distributors. In 2008, revenues reached euro 1.111 billion with 84% of sales outside of France.

bioMerieux provides diagnostic solutions (reagents, instruments, software) which determine the source of disease and contamination to improve patient health and ensure consumer safety. Our products are used for diagnosing infectious diseases and providing high medical value results for cancer screening and monitoring and cardiovascular emergencies. They are also used for detecting microorganisms in agri-food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.

bioMerieux is listed on the NYSE Euronext Paris market (Symbol: BIM – ISIN: FR0010096479).

Other information can be found at

SOURCE bioMerieux