Bayer expands infectious disease portfolio with $61.4 million acquisition

Bayer Corporation, the US subsidiary of the Bayer Group, has agreed to acquire Visible Genetics Inc, manufacturers of automated DNA sequencing systems, for $61.4 million.

Bayer Corporation, the US subsidiary of the Bayer Group, has agreed to acquire Visible Genetics Inc (VGI) for $61.4 million.

According to Bayer, the transaction is subject to approval from the regulatory authorities and VGI shareholders, who will be asked to approve the plan at a stockholders’ meeting scheduled for October 2002.

‘This acquisition is another milestone in our ongoing strategy to expand our Infectious Disease portfolio which began with our acquisition of Chiron Diagnostics in 1998,’ said Rolf Classon, Head of the Diagnostics Division of the future Healthcare subgroup of Bayer AG.

With a market share of around 10 percent in the medical diagnostics sector and annual sales of EUR 2.0 billion, Bayer Diagnostics is said to be among the world’s four largest providers in this field. The acquisition of VGI is intended to further expand the company’s position in the field of nucleic acid diagnostics.

VGI’s assay portfolio reportedly complements Bayer’s existing range of nucleic acid tests for HIV and hepatitis.

VGI plays a leading role in resistance determination by means of sequencing analysis with its TRUGENE tests, which include the TRUGENE HIV-1 test, the only HIV sequencing Genotyping Test to have been granted market approval by the US Food and Drug Administration.