Philips and bioMérieux announce partnership to develop and market next-generation handheld diagnostic solutions for point-of-care

Fully automated handheld diagnostic test devices designed to improve diagnosis and disease management in critical care settings within hospitals.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Marcy l’Etoile, France – Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) and bioMérieux (NYSE Euronext: BIM) today announced that they have signed an agreement to jointly develop fully automated handheld diagnostic testing solutions for hospital use that can be deployed at the point-of-care – i.e. close to the patient. The collaboration aims to improve diagnosis and management of disease in critical care settings within hospitals (for example, Emergency Departments, Coronary Units and Intensive Care Units (ICUs)).

“Philips is convinced that point-of-care testing in hospital critical care settings will play a major part in improving patient outcomes and reducing healthcare costs. It is an excellent fit with our leading market position in critical care settings and our holistic care cycle approach to, for example, cardiac care,” said Steve Rusckowski, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, Philips Healthcare. “Their combined knowledge of medical technology, biomarker assays and clinical workflows, coupled with their joint understanding of the relevant markets, stakeholders and channels, puts Philips and bioMérieux in a commanding position to drive forward a paradigm change in critical care decision-making.”

“We are very pleased to be partnering with Philips, which has a strong tradition in innovating patient care, and our collaboration will result in superb products able to rapidly deliver high medical value results to clinicians,” said Stéphane Bancel, bioMérieux Chief Executive Officer. “We will be leveraging the strong synergies between our VIDAS® biology expertise and Philips’ unique engineering and technology capabilities. This new point-of-care testing device will allow us to enter a market that is growing at about 10% a year.”

This new alliance unites Philips’ existing strengths in medical technology, patient monitoring and healthcare IT, including solutions aimed at helping clinicians to make more informed decisions, with bioMérieux’s expertise in the development of biological assays and its extensive knowledge of cardiovascular and infectious disease markers. A product development program is underway and the first milestone is expected in 2010. As part of the agreement, bioMérieux will have access to Philips’ proprietary Magnotech technology for hospital-based point-of-care testing applications. Commercial solutions resulting from the partnership will be co-branded by Philips and bioMérieux, with bioMérieux being the exclusive distributor worldwide. The two companies intend to have products on the market by 2013.

In critical-care settings, such as Emergency Departments within hospitals, there is a persistent clinical need for diagnostic solutions that enable fast and accurate patient triage – for example, diagnosing acute coronary syndromes (e.g. a heart attack) to enable faster treatment and improve patient outcomes. The fully automated handheld testing devices that will be developed jointly by Philips and bioMérieux will be immunoassay-based and employ Philips’ new Magnotech biosensor platform. They are intended to assist clinicians in time-critical decision-making by reducing delays involved in laboratory-based testing. Philips’ Magnotech biosensor platform has been shown to have the potential to match the analytical performance of laboratory systems in terms of accuracy and sensitivity.

Philips and bioMérieux are already major players in supplying critical-care solutions for hospital environments, and the products resulting from the partnership will complement both companies’ offerings. Philips’ current portfolio includes a full range of diagnostic tools (e.g. medical imaging, ECG and vital function monitoring) to support healthcare providers in identifying high-risk cardiac patients during the early stages of disease. bioMérieux is already recognized among clinicians for its high medical value tests, which include the VIDAS range of cardiac emergency markers: Troponin I Ultra, Myoglobin, CK-MB, D-Dimer and NT-proBNP. The solutions co-developed with Philips will be complementary to VIDAS, giving clinicians the option of point-of-care testing without compromising on assay performance.