Bio-Rad Laboratories Acquires Fort Worth’s Exact Diagnostics

Quality check: Based at the UNT Health Science Center, Exact Diagnostics produces and sells samples of viruses that labs can use to test their own equipment.

Exact Diagnostics Bio-Rad

This article was updated at 11:37 a.m., Feb. 27 to include the reported sales price for Exact Diagnostics.

Fort Worth-based biotech startup Exact Diagnostics announced that it has been acquired by Bio-Rad Laboratories, a Hercules, California-headquartered molecular diagnostic quality control manufacturer.

While no financial terms of the acquisition—which occurred in August—were released, The Star-Telegram reported that the price was $60 million. Bio-Rad reported in its full-year financial release that it had payments for or proceeds from acquisitions totaling $79.4 million in 2019.

Exact Diagnostics, housed at the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth, is a developer and manufacturer of diagnostic products that help ensure the validity and consistency of test results. Co-founded in 2015 by Richie Petronis and Jerry Boonyaratanakorkit, the company produces and sells samples of viruses that labs can use to test their own equipment.

Co-founders Petronis and Boonyaratanakorkit wanted to “provide better service and produce a better product for the quality assurance market,” according to Tech FW. The company currently produces products at labs at UNTHSC in Fort Worth, but “will be opening their own lab and building, which is scheduled for fall 2020.” 

Exact Diagnostics is a client of TechFW and the winner of that group’s Impact Award in 2017.

Exact Diagnostics deal boosts Bio-Rad’s products

Exact Diagnostics has a reputation for quality products and services to labs and manufacturers, Jim Barry, vice president and general manager of the quality controls division of Bio-Rad, said in a statement.

With the acquisition of Exact Diagnostics, Bio-Rad said it has access to a comprehensive catalog of molecular quality control products in the area of transplant, respiratory, virology, microbiology, sexually transmitted infections, and vector-borne diseases.

“We believe Exact Diagnostic’s portfolio of molecular quality controls will extend our reach into molecular diagnostics and strengthen our position in the area of lab quality,” Barry said.

According to a 2108 article in Fort Worth Magazine, Petronis and Boonyaratanakornkit met while working for a pharmaceuticals company that sold external controls to diagnostics laboratories for quality assurance testing. Petronis has an MBA and Boonyaratanakornkit is a biochemist.

They left the company and formed Exact Diagnostics with the aim of producing a better product for the quality assurance sector with better service, Fort Worth Magazine said. It launched in October 2015 and focused on molecular diagnostics and the clinical applications in oncology, infectious diseases, and other areas.

Petronis told the magazine that he and Boonyaratanakornkit built the company with no investors.

The pair focused on “the absolute best customer service.”  And, Petronis told Fort Worth Magazine, “We had a good product.” 

To build goodwill and business, they would send free samples of its products to labs, according to the magazine.

What’s next for Exact Diagnostics

Exact Diagnostics has bought the Katy Depot building at East Vickery Boulevard and Jones in Fort Worth and it will become the home to medical innovators and expanding biotech companies, including Exact Diagnostics, according to the 2019 Near Southside Annual Progress Report.

Exact Diagnostics and Robert Kelly Architects “will undertake an adaptive reuse project for the former railroad freight station.” The building in Fort Worth’s Near Southside district has been home to the Builders Equipment and Supply Company, according to the Near Southside organization.

A former railroad freight station owned by Exact Diagnostics could be home to medical innovators and expanding biotech companies.
[Rendering: Robert Kelly Architects via Near Southside 2019 Progress Report]

Fort Worth Urban shared an announcement on Twitter in May that the Katy Depot has been purchased by Exact Diagnostics. [Photo: Twitter/@UrbanFortWorth]

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