3M takes over UK rapid diagnostics company Acolyte Biomedica
20 February 2007
St Paul, Minn, USA. 3M has acquired Acolyte Biomedica Ltd., a Salisbury,
UK-based provider of an automated microbial detection platform that aids in
the rapid detection, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious diseases.
Acolyte Biomedica Ltd. develops, manufactures and markets rapid
microbiology products and has an exclusive global license to AK Rapid
technology, granted from DSTL for clinical and veterinary use. It has
further developed this ultra sensitive detection technology into a series of
commercial prototype products, which rapidly detect the presence of bacteria
and determine their antibiotic susceptibility direct from clinical samples
such as blood.
In January 2006, Acolyte launched a rapid culture-based MRSA test,
BacLite Rapid, which can detect the presence or absence of MRSA direct from
clinical samples in less than five hours. This is the only available rapid
screening test which can discriminate between live and dead bacteria
allowing clinicians to determine the risk of resistant bacteria spreading in
the hospital environment.
Acolyte Biomedica brings to 3M’s infection prevention platform a pipeline of
rapid culture-based screening tests for microbes, such as MRSA and
vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE), that simplify the diagnostic
process by automating traditional culture methodology resulting in reliable
confirmed ‘negatives’ in hours rather than days.
Early detection of dangerous microbes is becoming more important as
multiple resistant bacteria strains become more prevalent. Acolyte Biomedica
helps hospitals control high-risk infections through improved screening and
targeted treatment of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a
type of bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics and occurs most
frequently in hospital patients who have weakened immune systems.
addition of Acolyte Biomedica allows 3M to expand more quickly into the
emerging market of infection prevention diagnostics, especially in Europe
where Acolyte Biomedica has a commercialized product for MRSA. Now, 3M will
be able to provide customers around the world with rapid, easy-to-use
microbial diagnostics that help to reduce the impact of resistant microbes
and improve hospital laboratory efficiency.
“This acquisition builds on 3M’s innovative research and development in the
medical diagnostics area and is a natural extension of our core infection
prevention business,” said Chuck Kummeth, division vice president, 3M
Medical Division. “Our vision is to continue expanding our platform to
include diagnostic solutions ranging from simple, culture-based approaches
to more advanced molecular diagnostics that will help hospitals to improve
the quality of patient care.”
3M’s infection prevention portfolio includes
diagnostic testing, sterilization assurance, skin preparation, sterile field
and surface, wound management and environmental cleaning.
Biomedica Ltd. was formed in 2000 and is based at Porton Down, Salisbury,
UK, where it employs 13 specialist scientists and commercial staff. It has
been funded by shareholders Porton Capital, DSTL/Ploughshare Innovations,
Partnerships UK and Angle Plc.