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Apr 8, 2013

OriGene Snaps Up SDIX for $16M

  • OriGene Technologies will acquire all assets of life-sciences technology provider SDIX for $16 million, in a deal announced today by both companies. The deal combines SDIX’ Advanced Genomic Antibody Technology™ or GAT technologies with the technologies and global operations of OriGene, whose flagship product is the cDNA clone collection, a searchable gene bank of several thousand full-length human proteins.

    "We anticipate the combination of SDIX with OriGene will enhance our ability to continue to develop the most comprehensive collection of high-quality monoclonal antibodies for key applications both in research and diagnostics fields. SDIX’ over 20 years of antibody development and production expertise will complement OriGene’s existing high-throughput monoclonal antibody capacity to develop the highest quality antibodies," said Wei-Wu He, Ph.D., OriGene’s chairman and CEO, said in his company's statement.

    He said the acquisition would "uniquely position OriGene as one of the leaders in antibody development and production," and also allow the company to expand antibody and IVD reagent product and services capabilities to create significant new commercial opportunities for our existing and new customers including producing its monoclonal antibody UltraMAB™ for future diagnostic uses.

    In its own statement, SDIX said the acquisition will result in a broader portfolio of products and services for customers, and a wider reach into markets that SDIX “would be challenged to achieve as a standalone business."

    OriGene, whose offerings include more than 37,000 human full-length ORF cDNA clones for gene function study, said it agreed to offer employment to “a substantial majority” of employees in SDIX, which supplies antigens, antibodies, and assays for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology markets.

    Founded in 1996 and based in Rockville, MD, OriGene grew in 2010 by acquiring Blue Heron Biotech, enabling the company to offer complete molecular biology services, including codon optimization, gene synthesis, protein expression, and assay development. OriGene revenues more than tripled over three years ending in 2011, when the company racked up $24.8 million, compared with $8.1 million in 2008, according to Inc. magazine, which ranked the company No. 1,446 on its Inc. 5000 list of top private companies based on three-year revenue growth.

    The deal is set to be completed during the second quarter of 2013, subject to approval by shareholders of publicly traded SDIX and other customary closing conditions.

    In its final earnings report, released November 12, Newark, DE-based SDIX reported a $1 million net loss on $4 million of revenue during the third quarter. For the first nine months of 2012, SDIX lost $3.7 million on revenue of $11.6 million. The Q3 balance sheet did not include the $12.4 million net proceeds from the September 28, 2012, sale of the Food Safety and GMO operations to Romer Labs for $13.5 million—a deal that shrunk SDIX ino a life-sci company.

    In SDIX’ statement announcing the sale, Steven Becker, chairman of the company board of directors, said his company had sought “over the past few years” to create value for shareholders.

    “After reviewing many alternatives, the board determined that the best course of action for all of our stakeholders was to pursue a transaction which would create scale for our remaining life science and advanced technologies business,” Becker said in the statement. “We believe this transaction is the best possible outcome for our shareholders, employees, and valued customers.” 


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