(Reuters) - Oxford Immunotec Global Plc (OXFD.O), a medical diagnostics company that develops tests to identify tuberculosis, is exploring strategic alternatives, including a potential sale, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.
A deal for Oxford Immunotec would underscore the interest of bigger diagnostic companies in its so-called T-SPOT.TB test, which measures antigen-specific T cells indicative of a tuberculosis infection. About 23% of the world’s population, or about 1.7 billion people, are infected with the bacterium that causes tuberculosis, according to the World Health Organization.
Oxford Immunotec is working with an investment bank to decide on its next steps after attracting acquisition interest, the sources said, cautioning that no deal was certain and asking not to be identified because the matter is confidential.
Oxford Immunotec, which is headquartered near Oxford, England, and in Marlborough, Massachusetts, declined to comment.
Shares of Oxford Immunotec rose 9% to $15.84 on the news, giving the company a market capitalization of $430 million.
Oxford Immunotec sells its tuberculosis test kits and associated accessories to laboratories that perform the testing themselves. It also has a clinical testing laboratory in Britain where it performs the tests on samples sent in by clients.
The company listed on the Nasdaq in 2013. Last year, it sold its laboratory services business to Quest Diagnostics Inc (DGX.N) for gross proceeds of $170 million in cash.
Reporting by Rebecca Spalding in New York; Editing by Tom Brown