Heska to Acquire LightDeck Diagnostics to Invest in Manufacturing Capabilities and Accelerate Research and Development Efforts
LOVELAND, CO, September 12, 2022 — Heska Corporation (NASDAQ: HSKA; “Heska” or the “Company”), a leading global provider of advanced veterinary diagnostic and specialty solutions, announced today that the Company has entered a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of the share capital of MBio Diagnostics, Inc. d/b/a LightDeck Diagnostics (“LightDeck”), a pioneer in innovative planar waveguide fluorescence immunoassay diagnostics with strong manufacturing and specialized production capabilities (the “Acquisition”).
Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, LightDeck has developed a scalable and innovative platform for rapid and accurate point of care diagnostics. LightDeck’s 80-member team includes industry veterans, engineers, and scientists, with deep technical expertise in assay development, manufacturing, and software development, who have collaborated with commercial, academic, and government partners worldwide to build an extensive intellectual property portfolio of 16 US patents and 15 international patents with broad applications, including in veterinary diagnostics, water testing, and human in-vitro diagnostics use. LightDeck’s planar waveguide technology optimizes laser activated fluorescence and microfluidics to provide point of care cartridge-based testing without compromise, enabling reference lab-quality results in minutes with inexpensive, quantitative, and easy-to- use functionality. LightDeck’s current Boulder location includes fully equipped laboratories for assay development and controlled manufacturing capabilities that support its new, state-of-the-art, highly automated facility in Longmont, Colorado, anticipated to go online in 2023 to dramatically scale-up capacity, production, and research and development.
“We are thrilled to welcome the entire LightDeck team to Heska. We have known and closely followed their success for years and we are happy to fully join with them today as one team focused on supercharging their great work. LightDeck brings to Heska best-in-breed, highly scalable manufacturing and world-class assay development to help drive our strategies for winning at innovation and winning at scale,” commented Kevin Wilson, Heska’s Chief Executive Officer and President. “LightDeck was central in developing Heska’s leading immunodiagnostic platform, Element i+®, including its current menu of Total T4, cTSH, Cortisol, and Progesterone. Having proven our capability, we now take this next important step as we aim to drive production of Element i+® analyzers and cartridges at scale and to accelerate key test menu expansion, such as our recently announced Nu.Q® Vet Cancer Screen, cCRP, SDMA, infectious diseases, and more, in single and multi-plex formats that are substantially better than the competition. We expect to drive gross margin improvement with new manufacturing capabilities and scaling across the business. The addition of LightDeck is a great strategic, financial, and cultural fit with Heska as we continue our march to the top of the innovation and manufacturing competition for the most valuable diagnostics,” concluded Mr. Wilson.
Nick Traggis, LightDeck’s Chief Executive Officer commented, “This is a terrific outcome for LightDeck and Heska and their shareholders, employees and commercial partners. We have known and worked with Heska for years and we
greatly admire the Heska organization. Since its founding in 2009, LightDeck has been dedicated to revolutionizing testing at the point of care- for faster, more accurate, less expensive, multi-plex testing of the most important diagnostic tests. We have developed one of the most innovative and technologically-advanced assay platforms in the world, which has led to our recent addition to Fast Company’s Annual List of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies for 2022. I am very proud of the work our team has accomplished over the last 13 years.” LightDeck’s Co- Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Mike Lochhead, went on to say, “We are excited to now enter this next phase with Heska to dramatically expand our reach and scale. What we do at LightDeck matters a great deal. With Heska, we go confidently into our next commercial, manufacturing, and development chapters, strongly engaged, highly supported, and clearly set-up for long-term success and growth.”
Heska will purchase LightDeck for a purchase price of $38.7 million. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2023, subject to customary closing conditions.
Mr. Wilson and Company management will discuss this announcement and other Company updates on Heska’s Third Quarter 2022 earnings conference call early November 2022. To access the event, please visit https://ir.heska.com/events/.
Heska Corporation (NASDAQ: HSKA) manufactures, develops and sells advanced veterinary diagnostics, informatics, and specialty healthcare solutions through its two business segments: North America and International. Both segments include Point of Care Lab testing instruments and consumables, digital imaging products, software and services, data services, allergy testing and immunotherapy, and single-use offerings such as in-clinic diagnostic tests and heartworm preventive products. The North America segment also includes private label vaccine and pharmaceutical production for third-parties, primarily for herd animal health. For more information, please visit www.heska.com.
About LightDeck Diagnostics
LightDeck Diagnostics believes in a new approach to healthcare, where quick and accurate diagnostic tests will be run wherever and whenever they are needed. The company’s proprietary LightDeck® platform combines an advanced laser waveguide with novel materials and patented manufacturing techniques to deliver lab-quality results anywhere, in minutes. The LightDeck platform is achieving success in veterinary diagnostics and for environmental testing. LightDeck is also developing a portfolio of in vitro diagnostic panels. The company is based in Boulder, Colorado, and is recognized as Colorado BioScience Association’s Company of the Year, 2021.
This document contains forward-looking information related to the Company. These forward-looking statements generally include statements that are predictive in nature and depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, and include words such as “believes,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “aims,” “expects,” “intends,” “strategy,” “future,” “opportunity,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “potential,” or similar expressions. All of the statements in this document, other than historical facts, are forward-looking statements and are based on a number of assumptions that could ultimately prove inaccurate and cause actual results to materially deviate from forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this document include, among other things, statements with respect to future financial and operating results and strategic goals, the expected timing of the Acquisition and its anticipated benefits. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, risks and the closing of
the Acquisition; the ability to achieve the anticipated benefits of the Acquisition; any product’s ability to perform and be recognized as anticipated, in particular when such product is under development; Heska’s ability to sell and market its products and services in an economically sustainable fashion, including related to varying customs, cultures, languages and sales cycles; foreign political and economic climates; the Company’s ability to integrate the acquired LightDeck business within its existing operations; and new product development and release schedules. Other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those matters expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements are set forth under “Risk Factors” in the Company’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K.
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