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Sunday, March 7, 2021

Fort Worth startup acquired by California life sciences company

A California-based life science company has acquired a Fort Worth biotech startup operating out of the University of North Texas Health Science Center.

Diagnostics products manufacturer Exact Diagnostics was bought by Bio-Rad Laboratories in August, Bio-Rad disclosed in its full-year financial report released earlier this February.

Exact Diagnostics provides diagnostic and screening test medical equipment and serves molecular clinical labs and assay manufacturers. The company’s products include adenovirus verification panel, CMV high run control, EBV verification panel and JCV Verification Panel.

“With this acquisition, Bio-Rad expanded its line of quality control products in the area of transplant, respiratory, virology, microbiology, sexually transmitted infections, and vector-borne diseases,” Bio-Rad said in its financial report. Bio-Rad made more than $2.2 billion in revenue in 2018.

Last year, Exact Diagnostics paid about $3.2 million to purchase the historic Katy Depot building near downtown Fort Worth. It further intended to invest about $2.5 million for an adaptive reuse project in the building, according to an agreement approved during a Fort Worth Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone 4, or Southside TIF, meeting in June.

“The success stories were often seeking the next generation of growth, where they would need space, they would need laboratory space,” Near Southside Inc. president Michael Brennan had said. “With the example of Exact Diagnostics, sort-of, [is] the poster child of that pipeline.”

The 23,413-square-foot former freight depot is undergoing a renovation.

Southside TIF had also approved up to $176,200 in funding for Katy Depot’s redevelopment.

The development plans included 17,000 square feet of space for Exact Diagnostics’ own operations. While 7,000 square feet of additional space would be allocated for future tenants, like other healthcare startups.

As per its previous plans, Exact Diagnostics, now a Bio-Rad Laboratories Company, will complete the redevelopment project and move into Katy Depot by Dec. 2021.

Previous owner Besco Supply sold the Katy Depot property to the medical company, real estate firm JLL announced.

Exact Diagnostics was a part of Tech Fort Worth incubation program. It operated out of the lab spaces in UNT Health Science Center for a few years.

“Companies were being formed, many of them on a focus on medicine, healthcare, delivery of services to patients,” Michael Brennan, Near Southside Inc. president, told the board members at a meeting of the TIF. “Those success stories were often seeking the next generation of growth, where they would need space, they would need laboratory space. With the example of Exact Diagnostics, sort-of, [is] the poster child of that pipeline.”

Exact Diagnostics will use about 17,000 square feet of space in Katy Depot for its own use. About 7,000 square feet of additional space is allocated for future tenants, which can be other healthcare startups.

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