THE life sciences company Immunodiagnostics Systems (IDS) has announced a collaboration worth more than £3m with French diagnostics company Stago.
Boldon-based IDS makes manual and automated diagnostic testing kits for clinical and research markets, while Stago is a producer of coagulation and haemostasis diagnostic kits and instrumentation.
Following a feasibility project, IDS and Stago have formed a partnership to assist the French firm in developing coagulation and haemostasis assays for use on the IDS-iSYS immunoanalyzer.
As part of this collaboration, Stago has also agreed to help fund IDS’ development of the IDS-iSYS mark II instrument and eventually deploy it in their fields of expertise.
Stago will pay £2.9m in a series of payments and also contribute £850,000 to the development of the IDS-iSYS mark II.
Both activities are expected to conclude over the next two to three years.
In addition, IDS said it expected to earn revenues from the sale of instruments, ancillary products and royalties.
Chief executive Patrik Dahlen said: “Our collaboration with Stago reinforces our belief that the IDS-iSYS platform is one of the leading technologies in the field of specialty diagnostics.
“Stago is an excellent company with a great reputation in its areas of expertise and shares IDS’ values of delivering high quality tests to the specialty IVD market.
“We look forward to working with Stago in the development of our respective next generation instrumentation platforms.”
Last October, the company, best-known for its vitamin D tests, revealed a 13% dip in revenues to £23.8m for the six months to September 30, 2012, while pre-tax profits dropped by 26% to £6.3m.
However, the company, which had issued a profits warning in September, said revenues from its flagship IDS-iSYS machine increased by 4% but income from the manual testing kits was done by 17% to £14.6m. IDS’s interim finance director, Barry Hextall, said: “This is significant business for us and although it’s too early to estimate how it will affect our overall turnover, we do know we will receive £3m over the life of this two to three-year collaboration.
“Our manual testing kits take four hours of a lab technician’s time to get 64 results, whereas you get far more in just a few hours with the iSYS machine – it’s much more efficient.
“Although the manual testing kits still make up 60% of our revenue, that will tip in two years. However, I don’t think the device will die out as there is still a place for manual testing in research organisations.
“We expect our turnover this year to come out at between £48m and £50m which is consistent with the first half of the financial year.”