Protein analysis specialist Cell Biosciences has bought Canada-based Brightwell Technologies for $9 million in cash to acquire the firm’s digital-image based Micro-Flow ImagingTM (MFITM) platform for protein analysis. The MFI platform has been developed to allow the analysis of subvisible particles in biotherapeutics, and it has applications at every stage of drug development and manufacturing, Brightwell claims. The technology can be applied to measure protein aggregates and particulates, air bubbles, silicone oil droplets, and contaminants in the subvisible and visible ranges.
Cell Biosciences develops protein-analysis instrumentation systems, software, and assay products for applications in research, biotherapeutics production, and biomarker discovery. The firm moved into the protein-therapeutics market in October 2010, with the $12 million acquisition of Convergent Biosciences. Convergent has pioneered the development of whole-column detection capillary isoelectric focusing for protein characterization. Cell Biosciences says the acquisition of Brightwell will significantly bolster its position in the protein therapeutics analysis field, with the ability to offer a second platform that is targeted to the same customer set. “This is our fourth acquisition in 18 months and it represents another important step in our plan to build a highly focused and differentiated protein analysis pure-play,” comments Tim Harkness, Cell Biosciences’ president and CEO.
Last month Brightwell launched its latest line of MFI instruments, the MFI 5000 series. Building on the success of the 4000 series, the new instruments feature additional automation to further streamline the setup process, as well as a smaller benchtop footprint.