- The Washington Times - Friday, March 20, 2009

WALTHAM, MASS. (AP) - Inverness Medical Innovations Inc., a medical diagnostics company, said Friday it will buy a diagnostic test kit business from ACON Laboratories Inc. for about $200 million in cash and stock.

The deal for the immunoassay test kit business is expected to close around April 30.

An immunoassay is a biochemical test that measures the level of a substance in blood or urine by examining the reactions of antibodies. ACON’s business makes lateral-flow immunoassays, which are intended to be fast and less complicated than other tests.

ACON’s products include tests for pregnancy, ovulation and menopause, and infectious diseases such as chlamydia, hepatitis B and C, HIV and strep throat. ACON says the tests are sold to consumers, physicians and laboratories.

Inverness bought part of ACON’s overseas rapid diagnostics business in 2006, acquiring the “First Territory,” which includes the U.S., Canada, the European Union, Australia, Israel, Japan and New Zealand.

If the immunoassay test kit business meets financial and operating targets, Inverness said it has agreed to buy the “Second Territory” of the rapid diagnostics unit, which sells to China, Latin America, South America, the Middle East, Africa, India, Pakistan, Russia, Eastern Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

It didn’t say what it agreed to pay for that business. ACON also makes in-vitro diagnostics and other immunoassays.

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