Last week, the pharmaceutical giant Roche Holding AG (SIX: RO) announced a new acquisition for GenMark Diagnostics (NASDAQ: GNMK), a Carlsbad, California lab services company. GenMark Diagnostics is a leading provider of multiplex molecular diagnostic solutions designed to enhance patient care, improve key quality metrics and reduce the total cost-of-care. GenMark’s eSensor XT-8 and ePlex systems are designed to support a broad range of molecular diagnostic sample-to-answer tests with compact, easy-to-use workstations and self-contained, disposable test cartridges. 

The deal is valued at $1.8 billion cash, or $24.05 per share, a premium of approximately 43% to GenMark’s unaffected closing share price on February 10, 2021. That was the last day before a media report was published speculating about a potential sale process. The price is approximately 8.98x GenMark’s 2020-fourth-quarter revenue annualized. However, the company also reported an EBITDA loss of $1.48 million. 

GenMark’s syndromic panel testing portfolio will complement Roche’s current molecular diagnostics portfolio and the Roche global network will enable expanded reach for GenMark’s products. GenMark’s Respiratory Pathogen Panels identify the most common viral and bacterial organisms associated with upper respiratory infection, including SARS-CoV-2, complementing Roche’s extensive portfolio of Covid-19 diagnostics solutions. 

Covid-19 diagnostic solutions drove a number of deals in 2020, according to search results in our Healthcare Deals Database. In late October, ProPhase Labs, Inc. (NASDAQ: PRPH) acquired Confucius Plaza Medical Laboratory Corp., a clinical medical laboratory approved for a variety of tests, including Covid-19, for $2.5 million. Back in early September, Portland, Oregon-based Empower Clinics Inc. purchased Kai Medical Laboratory, which is part of the COVID-19 national testing program.