Merck Millipore, the life sciences business of Merck KGaA, has acquired exclusive worldwide rights allowing it to control and manage the Singulex Life Science Research business, including its Single Molecule Counting (SMC™) technology—including instruments, assays, and services, the companies said today.

The price was not disclosed. Merck Millipore has agreed to pay Singulex an upfront payment, royalties, and additional payments tied to achieving commercial milestones. In return, Merck Millipore will have exclusive rights to further develop and commercialize the SMC technology for research applications worldwide.

Through the deal, Merck Millipore aims to advance SMC as a leading standard for protein detection by combining its global reach with Singulex’s Erenna® immunoassay platform.

SMC is designed to achieve ultra-high sensitivity protein detection by combining signal enhancement and background reduction with low volume sampling. According to the companies, SMC can quantify biomarkers at sensitivities of 10 to 1,000 fold over other commercially available technologies, compared with detection of approximately 5% of proteins in the entire proteome under current technologies.

Singulex said it will continue to operate its clinical lab testing business, as well as an emerging in vitro diagnostics business based on SMC assays.

“We have established our position as a leader in high-sensitive immunoassays, and this deal enables us to leverage our superior immunoassay technology to create additional opportunities in our other diagnostic businesses, especially within the area of companion diagnostics,” Singulex President and CEO Guido Baechler stated.

Added Udit Batra, President and CEO of Merck Millipore: “The Erenna platform offers the unique advantage of unrivaled sensitivity and precision and will be a strong addition to our protein detection franchise.”

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