Taking over clinical diagnostics service provider BioReference Laboratories gives Opko a bigger avenue to distribute and market its diagnostic tests

Healthcare firm Opko is aiming to enhance its position in diagnostic technology by agreeing to buy clinical diagnostics service BioReference Laboratories.

The all-shares transaction, which values BioReference at around $1.5 billion (£1 billion), gives Opko an avenue to market its own diagnostic tests to clinicians. The company wants to use this advantage to boost sales of its 4Kscore test for aggressive prostate cancer diagnosis.

The move reflects the growing importance of diagnostic technology as newly introduced medicines become more targeted. Pharma major Roche has invested heavily in diagnostics, especially those related to genomics.