BioMAP platform will complement Asterand’s tissue-based offerings.

Asterand is purchasing BioSeek to bolster its position in the global human tissue market. The initial consideration will be $1 million payable by the issuance of Asterand shares.

BioSeek is a privately held drug discovery services company that has designed human primary cell based, high-throughput assay systems (BioMAP®) to replicate the cell and pathway interactions present in inflammatory, autoimmune, and cardiovascular diseases.

Asterand will tender another $13 million in 2011 depending on the level of sales growth achieved by BioSeek in 2010. If the target is met, the first $3 million will be paid in Asterand shares and the rest may be paid in either cash or shares at Asterand’s discretion.

Asterand points out that BioSeek’s sales to date have been achieved with limited resources and that Asterand will bring scale to the selling process. Last year BioSeek reported audited net revenues of $3.2 million. The audited value of the gross assets being acquired is $10.1 million, according to Asterand.

“In addition to investments in sales and marketing, in the future we will look carefully at potential investments in R&D to expand the BioSeek platform to a broader range of diseases,” says Martyn Coombs, CEO. Asterand’s ability to procure a wide range of tissue types will provide a source of material for the development of new BioMAP assays. The system predicts clinical activities of a potential drug candidate through comparison of assay results to a proprietary database of profiles for known compounds.

BioSeek is located in South San Francisco, CA, and has 14 employees. The company was founded in 2000 by Eugene Butcher, M.D., professor of pathology, Stanford University, and Ellen Berg, Ph.D., currently BioSeek’s CSO and a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford.

In addition to service revenue, BioSeek’s growth has been financed by venture investors Bay City Capital and Fremont Ventures. The firm also has a research collaboration with and strategic investment by Amylin Pharmaceuticals. BioSeek is also a phase I and II funded contractor with the EPA’s ToxCast® Program.

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