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TechLab Acquired by Pharos

Wednesday, September 21, 2016  
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TechLab, a medical device company, has been acquired by a private equity firm with plans to keep growing the Blacksburg-based business. Previously, 49 percent of the company was sold to publicly-traded Alere in 2006. Texas-based Pharos Capital Group announced it bought Alere’s portion as well as an undisclosed percentage from the founders, giving them majority ownership.

TechLab, which creates rapid tests for intestinal diseases, previously agreed to acquisition terms with a different buyer last year. But co-founders Tracy Wilkins and David Lyerly walked away at the last moment when they learned the unnamed buyer planned to move jobs from the region where all of the 130-person company’s research and manufacturing operations have been based for more than two decades.

Several employees said there’s a certain level of unease associated with any acquisition, but the general sense is that Pharos is sincere when it tells them the office will see growth instead of layoffs.

“We want to serve and build upon the winning culture that’s here, that made this a world-class organization, world-class manufacturing, world-class products,” said Dan Delaney, who is taking over as CEO. “That’s why Pharos was interested in the company, because of all those things.”

Delaney previously was the president of Alere North America and sat on TechLab’s board. He has also served as president of Viracor-IBT Laboratories and chief operating officer of AccuVein Inc.

Right now, TechLab is best known for its small devices that resemble pregnancy tests and are used in hospitals to indicate whether patients have Clostridium difficile bacteria.

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