Sartorius said today it has acquired ViroCyt for $16 million in a deal that expands the buyer’s lab products and services offerings by adding the developer of rapid virus quantification tools.
The deal is Sartorius’ second tools acquisition in less than 3 weeks. On June 28, Sartorius signaled its expansion into bioanalytics by purchasing cell screening platforms developer IntelliCyt for $90 million.
“After acquiring the cell screening specialist IntelliCyt, we are now adding a further very innovative bioanalytical tool to our Lab Products & Services portfolio that will enable our customers to obtain lab results much faster and reduce the time to clinic for virus-based pharmaceuticals,” Michael Melingo, member of the Sartorius Group Executive Committee, said in a statement.
Added Robert Kline, ViroCyt’s president and CEO, in a separate company statement: “The worldwide reach and outstanding reputation of Sartorius will accelerate the adoption of the Virus Counter technology.”
Last year ViroCyt launched its ViroTag virus quantification tool, designed to enable direct, biologically specific quantification of viruses in minutes rather than the days or weeks required by traditional products. ViroTag uses a fluorescently labeled, high-affinity antibody targeted to a virus of interest. During a 1-minute sample analysis, the preparation is evaluated with the company’s Virus Counter® 3100 real-time virus quantification instrument.
In January, ViroCyt rolled out the ViroTag AAV2-3 antibody-based detection reagent, designed to enable real-time quantification of adeno-associated virus serotypes 2 and 3, both being developed as gene therapy vectors. That was followed in May by ViroTag AAV5, designed for use on adeno-associated virus serotype 5, also with gene therapy in mind.
Based in Broomfield, CO, ViroCyt began operations in 2013 after spinning off from InDevR. ViroCyt is expected to generate more than $3 million in sales revenues this year through “high double-digit” growth, Sartorius said, and is also on track to achieve break-even underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBIDTA) by the end of 2018.
ViroCyt’s main customers include pharma and biopharma R&D laboratories, vaccine manufacturers, as well as academic institutes focused on virology, Sartorius said.
Lab products and services is one of two divisions of Sartorius Group; the other is bioprocess solutions. Originally founded in 1870, Sartorius employs more than 6200 people at 50 manufacturing and sales sites worldwide, and finished last year with sales revenue of more than €1.1 billion ($1.2 billion).