The UK’s Smiths Group has entered into an agreement to acquire ETI Technology, a small, privately owned company that has developed techniques for the detection of harmful biological agents.
ETI has developed optical sensors that perform an initial screening of bio agents to provide analysis and classification, permitting more efficient and rapid deployment of biological detectors to identify the specific agent precisely.
Smiths Group said in a statement that this technology would be employed to reduce operational costs for conventional detectors made by its subsidiary, Smiths Detection, including equipment to identify biological agents used by military forces, emergency response teams and in critical infrastructure applications.
ETI’s patented biosensors enable detection without the use of added fluids and can operate remotely with no user intervention. They can rapidly detect, distinguish and quantify groups of biological agents such as bacteria, bacterial spores, toxins and viruses.
The approach is a departure from other sensors that identify a single organism. When configured as a multi-sensor array, the ETI technology provides a real-time snapshot of microbes and chemicals present in the environment. The technology is already said to have performed well in testing in both the US and UK.
ETI was formed in 1997, in Boston, MA and holds multiple US patents and patent applications. Smiths Detection has already worked closely with ETI, for two years, on a major UK military program. Smiths is paying $4 million for ETI, in cash, plus deferred performance-related consideration up to a maximum of $4.5 million. Closure is subject to U.S. regulatory approval.