bioMerieux and Knome have entered into a strategic agreement to collaborate in the development of next-generation, sequence-based in vitro diagnostics. Under the agreement, bioMerieux will have exclusive rights to license Knome's proprietary genome analysis platform for use in the in vitro diagnostics market. Further, Knome will gain access to bioMerieux's intellectual property in DNA extraction and sample preparation. bioMerieux has also purchased a $5 million equity stake in Knome.
Founded by Harvard geneticist George Church and led by internationally recognized scientists, clinicians, and bioinformaticians, Knome provides cutting-edge genome sequencing and analysis services for biomedical researchers and families seeking to understand the genetic underpinnings of human disease.
"Genome sequencing and analysis is driving a revolution in the diagnosis and treatment of human disease," said Jorge Conde, Chief Executive Officer of Knome. "We are excited to partner with bioMerieux to bring ground-breaking sequencing-based solutions to the in vitro diagnostics market, helping to ensure that doctors and their patients benefit from these emerging technologies."
"We are living at a time of extraordinary technological innovation in genetics. Medicine 2.0 is literally being written before our eyes," said Stephane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of bioMerieux. "We are very excited to be working with Knome--their expertise in human genome analytics combined with our unique knowledge of in vitro diagnostics will allow us to create the diagnostic tools of tomorrow."
Multiplex DNA sequencing for molecular diagnostics development is part of bioMerieux's 2015 strategic road map. bioMerieux intends to develop next-generation cancer and infectious disease diagnostics using Knome's proprietary sequence analysis technology and bioinformatic tools. The bioMerieux team will be led by bioMerieux's recently appointed Chief Technology Officer, Alain Pluquet.
The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. In connection with the purchase, bioMerieux has the right to designate one director for election to the Knome board. This seat will initially be held by Stephane Bancel.