Source: © Ljupco Smokovski/
Source: © Ljupco Smokovski/

Agilent Technologies said it has acquired ACEA Biosciences for $250 million cash, in a deal that expands the buyer’s offerings and presence in cell analysis technologies.

San Diego-based ACEA—which dubs itself “The Cell Analysis Company”—develops products used by researchers worldwide in drug discovery and development, toxicology, flow cytometry, cell analysis, safety pharmacology, disease studies, clinical diagnostics, and basic research.

ACEA’s tools include xCELLigence, a real-time cell analyzer, and NovoExpress® flow cytometers. On September 20, ACEA announced the launch of a new 1.3.0 version of NovoExpress software, designed to support the recently-launched NovoCyte® QuanteonTM flow cytometers and NovoSampler® Q autosampler products, in addition to NovoCyte flow cytometer and NovoSampler Pro products.

As part of Agilent, ACEA said, it will be able to leverage the buyer’s global infrastructure of service and support, as well as its global marketing and sales engine.

“ACEA represents a unique opportunity for Agilent to expand its team and broaden its portfolio with highly complementary technology, increasing the relevance and impact we can have with our customers in the cell analysis space,” Todd Christian, vp and general manager of Agilent’s cell analysis division, said in a statement.

The acquisition helps Agilent further address one of the key growth initiatives it shared with investors on June 6 during a presentation at its Analyst & Investor Day: “Expand Cell Analysis Footprint.”

Agilent took a significant step in that direction on January 9, when it acquired Luxcel Biosciences for an undisclosed price. The deal was intended to expand the buyer's cell-analysis portfolio with Luxcel’s real-time fluorescence plate-reader–based in vitro cell-assay kits, designed for ease-of-use and compatible with industry-standard plate readers.

At J.P. Morgan and at its June investor presentation, Agilent identified academic and government research as a submarket for cell analysis tools and other lab equipment. Three weeks after acquiring Luxcel, Agilent launched a partnership with the University of Southern California (USC) Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience to facilitate what they said will be transformational research that combines biomedical science and engineering.

And on February 28, Agilent disclosed it would equip a new Agilent Measurement Suite at the new White City campus of Imperial College London, as part of a scientific collaboration. The suite is designed to facilitate basic and translational research in areas that include clinical diagnostics, biopharmaceuticals, energy and chemicals, environmental science, food testing and agriculture, materials research, and proteomics.

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