OpGen, Inc., and Curetis N.V., a developer of next-level molecular diagnostic solutions, have entered into a definitive agreement to combine the two companies’ businesses, subject to approval by both companies’ respective shareholders and Curetis’ debt financing providers. The transaction is structured as an acquisition by OpGen of Curetis GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Curetis which owns all of the Curetis Group business and is expected to close by early 2020. The combination will create a transatlantic, U.S.-headquartered and Nasdaq-listed company with an innovative commercial-stage molecular diagnostics and bioinformatics franchise and a strong pipeline focusing on infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
Founded in 2002, based in Gaithersburg, Maryland, OpGen, Inc. is a precision medicine company harnessing the power of molecular diagnostics and informatics to help combat infectious disease. The company is developing molecular information products and services for global healthcare settings, helping to guide clinicians with more rapid and actionable information about life threatening infections, improve patient outcomes, and decrease the spread of infections caused by multidrug-resistant microorganisms, or MDROs.
Based in Holzgerlingen near Stuttgart, Germany, Curetis N.V.’s goal was to become a leading provider of innovative solutions for molecular microbiology diagnostics designed to address the global challenge of detecting severe infectious diseases and identifying antibiotic resistances in hospitalized patients. Curetis’ wholly owned subsidiary Ares Genetics GmbH is developing next-generation solutions for infectious disease diagnostics and therapeutics. The ARES Technology Platform combines what the company believes to be the most comprehensive database worldwide on the genetics of antimicrobial resistances, ARESdb, with advanced bioinformatics and artificial intelligence.
Following the closing, the combined company’s U.S. headquarters will be in Gaithersburg, while the company’s European operations will be run from Holzgerlingen, Germany. Ares Genetics GmbH will continue its bioinformatics and NGS service laboratory operations in Vienna, Austria.
The initial two main focuses for the company will be (a) rapid diagnostics for lower respiratory infection and urinary tract infection and (b) bioinformatics and NGS services for AMR prediction by Ares Genetics as well as bioinformatics services based on the Acuitas Lighthouse® AMR knowledgebase by OpGen.
Key elements of the combined company’s strategy include: continuing to gain regulatory clearances and approvals and establish a market position for proprietary molecular diagnostic tests and platforms, capitalize on unique technology platforms, leverage global commercial capabilities and partnerings, pursue development collaborations, and capitalize on the financial leverage and operational and research synergies to improve return on capital and achieve future profitability.
“This transaction will allow Curetis to access U.S. capital markets, which we believe is essential to accelerate the development of our proprietary molecular diagnostic platforms and solutions for microbiology.” … “It also strengthens our management team and financial position, allows us to leverage OpGen´s existing U.S. public company infrastructure, and adds complementary assets to our product development portfolio.” – Oliver Schacht, CEO of Curetis
“We believe that this transaction has the potential to create substantial synergies and will enable the combined entity to further strengthen its molecular microbiology diagnostics pipeline and assets.” … “Our goal is to create a broader transatlantic business, allowing us to execute on a growth strategy in molecular microbiology based on cutting-edge innovation.” – William Rhodes, Chairman of Curetis’ Supervisory Board
“We are convinced that the combination of OpGen and Curetis will help maximize value for our stockholders and will result in an organization with a robust pipeline of molecular diagnostic and bioinformatics products, significant management experience, and proprietary assets for developing and commercializing novel data-driven solutions in infectious disease diagnostics” – Evan Jones, Chairman and CEO, OpGen