Finnish molecular diagnostics developer Mobidiag has signed an agreement with Chinese clinical diagnostics company Autobio Diagnostics to form a joint venture (JV) firm to commercialise its Novodiag platform in China.

Novodiag is a fully automated molecular testing platform designed for infectious diseases diagnostics. It uses real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and microarray technologies for direct sample analysis.

The platform enables comprehensive screening of single or multiple pathogens within one hour.

The partners will invest €12.3m to establish the new entity. Mobidiag will provide €4.3m and hold a 35% stake in the JV, while Autobio will fund the remaining €8m to acquire 65%.

Mobidiag will provide the JV with an exclusive licence associated with human infectious disease assays in China. Sepsis will be excluded from the licence.

The new company will initially register the Novodiag platform and assays for the detection of respiratory and gastroenteric infections, as well as meningitis with the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA).

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The JV will also sponsor the establishment of facilities in China to manufacture certain Novodiag components and disposables.

Autobio Diagnostics chairman Yongjun Miao said: “In China, due to a lack of rapid, accurate and low-cost diagnosis of pathogens, the timely and effective treatment of infectious diseases is limited and the misuse of antibiotics is not uncommon.

“The cost advantages of setting up the joint venture in China will further enhance the competitive force of the Novodiag system.”

“Mobidiag’s Novodiag system is low-cost, easy to operate, multi-target, and has a wide application and great market prospects. The cost advantages of setting up the joint venture in China will further enhance the competitive force of the Novodiag system.”

Under the arrangement, Mobidiag also received a €10m equity investment from Autobio. The funds will be used for expanding product portfolio and to drive the development of additional assays for the Novodiag platform.

The company will also use the investment to bolster its manufacturing capabilities and commercial expansion.

Mobidiag CEO said: “The €10m equity investment strengthens our cash balance and will allow us to advance our wider strategy to grow sales internationally and launch more innovative and affordable molecular solutions to advance the diagnosis of infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance.”