Spanish healthcare firm Grifols has agreed to acquire blood screening business from its partner Hologic for around $1.85bn.

Under the deal, Grifols will buy Hologic’s nucleic acid testing (NAT) donor screening unit, which includes technology to detect the presence of infectious agents in blood and plasma donations.

The company will secure a fully paid-up license to various Hologic's intellectual property for use in the blood screening field. 

Around 175 people involved in operations and research and development will be shifted to Grifols, in addition to Hologic's blood screening manufacturing facility in Rancho Bernardo, California.

Hologic will hold the engineering expertise that used to develop fully automated Tigris and Panther systems.

The companies first collaborated in 1998, under which Hologic taken the responsibility for research and development and manufacturing of the Procleix blood screening products, while Grifols involved in commercialization of the products across the globe.

Subject to customary closing and regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2017.

Hologic chairman, president and CEO Steve MacMillan said: "Divesting our share of our blood screening business to Grifols will strengthen our efforts to build a sustainable growth company by accelerating top- and bottom-line growth rates, while significantly increasing financial flexibility.”

Grifols chairman and CEO Victor Grífols Sr said: “This acquisition is part of the growth strategy foreseen for the Diagnostic Division.

“It is an obvious step that allows us to strengthen a leading position that we first achieved in 2014 in transfusion diagnostics with the acquisition of assets from Novartis, which, among other things, included the rights to market transfusion medicine assays and instruments using NAT technology.”

Image: Hologic chairman, president and CEO Steve MacMillan. Photo: courtesy of Hologic, Inc.