For PhenomeX (Nasdaq: CELL), 2023 has been a wild ride. Following the merger of Berkeley Lights and IsoPlexis on March 21, 2023, PhenomeX was formed. As a result of this merger, The Beacon Optofluidic System by Berkeley Lights and The Protein Barcoding Suite by IsoPlexis were brought together. The combination of these tools brings together two key technologies—optofluidics, which refers to the process of moving cells without physical contact, and proteomic barcoding, which evaluates the functional phenotypes of individual cells—to expand the range of possibilities for functional biology experiments.

A little over four and a half months later, on August 17, 2023, PhenomeX and Bruker entered into a merger agreement. On August 31, 2023, Bruker filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (also known as the “SEC”) a tender offer statement.

“This acquisition will mark Bruker’s entry into single-cell biology research tools, which complements Bruker’s emerging spatial biology business—in support of our transformational Project Accelerate 2.0 strategy,” said Mark R. Munch, PhD, president of the Bruker NANO Group.

The most recent piece of information was disclosed on September 5 by PhenomeX, which stated that the Bruker Corporation has initiated, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Bird Mergersub Corporation, a cash tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of common stock of PhenomeX for $1.00 per share. Following the successful completion of the tender offer, Bird Mergersub Corporation will be merged into PhenomeX, which will then become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bruker. After the proposed acquisition, it is anticipated that the total equity value of PhenomeX will be somewhere in the vicinity of $108 million, which is a downtick from Berkeley Light’s initial public offering (IPO) in July 2020 that was set to raise at least $153 million in gross proceeds.

“By joining forces with Bruker, a respected and innovative global leader in life science research tools, we will not only enhance PhenomeX’s differentiated, high-value technologies but also our customers’ abilities to discover novel antibodies and accelerate development and manufacturing of cell and gene therapies,” said Siddhartha Kadia, PhD, CEO and director of PhenomeX.

Perella Weinberg Partners served as Bruker’s financial advisor, and Morgan Lewis advised the company legally regarding the transaction, which is scheduled to be finalized during the fourth quarter of 2023. William Blair & Company, L.L.C. served as the financial advisor for PhenomeX, while Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP acted as a legal advisor.

This occurred approximately one week following the announcement of the first product resulting from the merger of IsoPlexis and Berkeley Lights. PhenomeX made public their MeteorTM chips for use on the IsoSparkTM platform on September 15, 2023. These chips were created to achieve high throughput, quantitative, fully automated, and multiplexed bulk proteomics. The Meteor chip solution is purported to support high throughput proteomic analysis. A single full run (four chips) can accommodate 80 sample wells in triplicate, which can be quantitatively analyzed on-site. The Meteor chip will be introduced with an initial 10-plex panel, which has the extraordinary capacity to generate 2400 data points in a single run.

PhenomeX will present Meteor at the BioProcess International 2023 meeting at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

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