Biotage to take over MIP Technologies

Biotage to acquire shares for 16m Swedish Kronor

Biotage, a provider of tools and technology for medicinal and analytical chemistry, and the owners of MIP Technologies have signed a definitive agreement under which Biotage is expected to acquire all outstanding shares in MIP Technologies, a developer of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) and other novel polymers.

As per the terms of the acquisition, an upfront payment corresponding to an enterprise value for MIP Technologies of 16m Swedish Kroner will be made. In addition further payments based on sales performance will be made until the end of 2015.

MIP Technologies has 17 employees and had a turnover of 13MSEK in 2009. MIP Technologies will be consolidated in the Biotage group as of April 30, 2010.

Torben Jorgensen, president and CEO of Biotage, said: "This is an excellent strategic fit regarding Biotage's expansion and diversification into markets outside of pharma and it will certainly fuel our efforts within Sample Prep. One of our ambitions going forward is to further develop our Sample Prep business and to drive our consumables sales to get a more even balance between the sale of instruments and consumables.
"The addition of MIP Technologies continues the advancement of our vision of complete solutions for the scientific community. We are very excited about the technology that will benefit our customers and fit perfectly with our product offering."

Anthony Rees, CEO of MIP Technologies, said: "Our MIP and non MIP polymer technologies complement Biotage's product offering and I'm especially thrilled that the direct and indirect sales, distribution and service from Biotage. The combined capabilities within existing R&D organisations and production units will allow us to further profit on the current businesses but also to venture into new areas."

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Is anyone prepared to solve the NHS funding crisis?

As long as the political taboo on raising taxes endures, the service will be in financial peril. 

It has long been clear that the NHS is in financial ill-health. But today's figures, conveniently delayed until after the Conservative conference, are still stunningly bad. The service ran a deficit of £930m between April and June (greater than the £820m recorded for the whole of the 2014/15 financial year) and is on course for a shortfall of at least £2bn this year - its worst position for a generation. 

Though often described as having been shielded from austerity, owing to its ring-fenced budget, the NHS is enduring the toughest spending settlement in its history. Since 1950, health spending has grown at an average annual rate of 4 per cent, but over the last parliament it rose by just 0.5 per cent. An ageing population, rising treatment costs and the social care crisis all mean that the NHS has to run merely to stand still. The Tories have pledged to provide £10bn more for the service but this still leaves £20bn of efficiency savings required. 

Speculation is now turning to whether George Osborne will provide an emergency injection of funds in the Autumn Statement on 25 November. But the long-term question is whether anyone is prepared to offer a sustainable solution to the crisis. Health experts argue that only a rise in general taxation (income tax, VAT, national insurance), patient charges or a hypothecated "health tax" will secure the future of a universal, high-quality service. But the political taboo against increasing taxes on all but the richest means no politician has ventured into this territory. Shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander has today called for the government to "find money urgently to get through the coming winter months". But the bigger question is whether, under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour is prepared to go beyond sticking-plaster solutions. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.