Bio-Rad Laboratories has signed an agreement to acquire Curiosity Diagnostics from Poland-based Scope Fluidics for a total consideration of up to $170m.

Under the terms of the deal, the company will acquire all outstanding shares of Curiosity Diagnostics for roughly $100m in cash as well as make future milestone payments of up to $70m.

A late-stage, pre-commercial platform firm, Curiosity Diagnostics is currently developing a sample-to-answer, quick diagnostics polymerase chain reaction (PCR) platform, PCR|ONE, for the molecular diagnostics market.

PCR|ONE is a stand-alone and automated system that has been designed for the quick detection of a broad range of pathogens at the point of care, in hospital emergency rooms or at other locations where accurate diagnosis of patients is crucial.

It provides broad coverage of up to 20 genetic targets per triplicate, which can be identified in a single test.

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Furthermore, the PCR platform can integrate into the lab environment and provide minimum hands-on time as well as a quick response for urgent testing needs.

The SARS-CoV-2 and MRSA/MSSA test panels on the PCR|ONE system received CE-IVD mark last year.

Bio-Rad Clinical Diagnostics Group executive vice-president and president Dara Wright said: “We are excited to have the Curiosity Diagnostics team join Bio-Rad’s Clinical Diagnostics Group and to work closely together to bring a new generation of rapid PCR systems to market.

“Curiosity’s PCR platform, PCR|ONE, offers a streamlined workflow and rapid turnaround times, and is expected to extend our reach beyond high-complexity labs into near-patient molecular diagnostics labs.”

The company develops, produces and commercialises a wide range of innovative products for the clinical diagnostic and life science research markets.

In 2020, Bio-Rad received emergency use authorisation (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its SARS-CoV-2 Droplet Digital PCR (ddPCR) test kit.