GE Healthcare said today it has acquired Asymptote for an undisclosed price in a deal that the buyer said would strengthen its cell therapy portfolio with technologies designed to enable the cryopreservation of cellular materials.
Asymptote specializes in cryochain technology for sensitive cellular therapies, with the goal of significantly lowering the risk of contamination found in conventional processes.
The company’s integrated suite of cryochain hardware, software, and consumables is designed to support cGMP and maintain the potency of cellular therapies by enabling ultra-low-temperature freezing during production, followed by thawing prior to administering to patients in clinical settings.
Asymptote’s VIA FreezeTM range delivers liquid nitrogen-free cryopreservation, while the soon-to-be released VIA ThawTM series thaws deeply frozen cells using a dry conduction (water-free) process. The company’s web-based my.Cryochain software platform is designed to support cell therapy companies as they scale their cryopreservation and thawing processes by synchronizing with the VIA Freeze and VIA Thaw products to standardize freezing and thawing programs across multiple sites, improving the visibility of remote processes.
“Asymptote’s high-quality offering takes us another step forward in our vision to industrialize cell therapy, and in providing reliable and high-quality services for our customers and patients around the world,” Ger Brophy, Ph.D., general manager of GE Healthcare’s cell therapy business, said in a statement.
Added Asymptote founder and CEO John Morris, Ph.D.: “The acquisition gives us the opportunity to reach a larger audience through the local specialist GE Cell Therapy team, provides us with a strong platform for our product launches, and allows us to significantly scale up our product development.”
GE Healthcare reasons that demand for manufacturing and clinical delivery will increase as the cell therapy market grows and develops. The company cited statistics from the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine showing 804 clinical trials underway by the end of last year for cell therapies, as well as gene-modified cell therapies, gene therapies, and tissue-engineering therapies.
The acquisition of Asymptote is GE Healthcare’s latest move toward growing its cell therapy offerings. In July 2016, GE acquired Biosafe Group, a supplier of integrated cell bioprocessing systems, for an undisclosed sum. Three months earlier, GE Ventures teamed up with Mayo Clinic Ventures to launch Vitruvian Networks, a collaboration providing cloud-based software systems and manufacturing services for cell and gene therapies.
And in January 2016, GE Healthcare and the Government of Canada each committed C$20 million ($15 million) to launch the BridGE@CCRM Cell Therapy Centre of Excellence, created to promote new technologies for the production of cellular therapies in Toronto.