Deal allows Caliper to focus on imaging and analysis and Biotage to expand beyond pharmaceuticals.

Biotage is acquiring extraction and evaporation product lines for sample preparation from Caliper Life Sciences for $16.5 million. The deal includes assumed liabilities of approximately $0.5 million and covers the RapidTrace® and TurboVap® product lines with all associated assets.

These products had a turnover of $9.5 million in 2009, according to Biotage. Approximately eight Caliper employees will be offered employment in Biotage. Caliper will continue to manufacture the products for Biotage under a three-year manufacturing supply arrangement.

“Divesting these product lines is a win-win for Caliper and Biotage,” according to Kevin Hrusovsky, president and CEO of Caliper. “For Caliper it simplifies our product offerings, allowing further focus on our core growth businesses of biomolecular sample preparation, imaging, and analysis platforms and also adds cash to our balance sheet to enable potential future strategic investments.

“As a result of this divestiture, our patented, proprietary IVIS® Imaging Systems and LabChip® product groups now comprise more than 75 percent of Caliper’s revenue. The proceeds from this sale will enhance our capability to make additional investments in the high-growth markets we serve, including next-generation sequencing, biotherapeutics, molecular diagnostics, and imaging.

“For Biotage,” Hrusovsky continues, “these product lines expand its sample preparation expertise and broaden its target markets outside the pharma segment. Beyond this sale, we believe there are future manufacturing, innovation, and commercial channel collaboration opportunities between Caliper and Biotage.”

RapidTrace SPE Workstation is a modular, scalable, automated sample prep high-throughput solid phase extraction (SPE) platform. A recent collaboration with Caliper resulted in the RapidTrace being fully compatible with all Biotage Isolute® SPE cartridges.

TurboVap Concentration Evaporator Workstations are microprocessor-controlled concentrators that provide unattended, automated sample evaporation. The TurboVap product line can be added on to Biotage’s evaporation products as a complement to its V-10™ solvent evaporation system.

“This acquisition represents an opportunity for Biotage to combine our best-in-class SPE consumables with robust automation to create workflow solutions for our customers,” comments Torben Jörgensen, Biotage president and CEO. “We expect a significant improvement of our bottom line as this acquisition has a limited need for an extension of our present cost base.

“It is another important step in Biotage’s strategic focus to expand further and deeper into the sample prep market where these products are an excellent complement to our existing product line. The extensive installed base of these products outside the pharma segment delivers new customer relationships into our new target markets of food, agricultural, clinical, forensics, and environmental.”

Biotage is headquartered in Uppsala, Sweden, and has subsidiaries in the U.S., U.K., and Japan. It has 245 employees and had sales of SEK 394.1, or about $51.33 million, in 2009.

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