All about antibodies

OriGene acquires SDIX’s life-science business assets

Ilene Schneider
ROCKVILLE, Md.—In an effort to expand and enhance itspresence in the antibody market, OriGene Technologies Inc., a provider of genome-wideproducts for research and diagnostic applications, recently signed an agreementto acquire all the assets of the life-science business of SDIX, a provider ofbiotechnology-based products and services.
The expected commercial benefits are the advancement ofOriGene's capabilities to produce IVD-grade antibodies and to better providethe highest-quality antibodies available to the marketplace, according to Dr.Wei-Wu He, OriGene's chairman and CEO.
 
 
OriGene was founded in 1996 as a "gene-centric" researchtool company, and its portfolio includes cDNA clone collection, full-lengthhuman proteins, high-throughput antibody production and Luminex assays. OriGenenow manufactures and sells its genome-wide research and diagnostic productsworldwide and provides antibodies sold under the TrueMAB and UltraMABAntibodies brand names. 
 
As a research tool company committed to the creation of thelargest commercial collection of full-length human cDNAs in a standardexpression vector, OriGene's vision is to prepare comprehensive, genome-wideresearch tools and technology platforms to enable scientists to study completebiological pathways, thus enabling a better understanding of disease mechanismsincluding cancer and stem cell research. The availability of the complete humangenome sequence and the subsequent development of genome-based tools haveenabled the identification of relevant drug targets through system biologyapproaches. OriGene uses a high-throughput, genome-wide approach to developproducts for pharmaceutical, biotechnology and academic research, with completemolecular biology services from codon optimization, gene synthesis and proteinexpression and assay development.
 
OriGene, with operations in the United States and China,anticipates that "the combination of SDIX with OriGene will enhance our abilityto continue to develop the most comprehensive collection of high-qualitymonoclonal antibodies for key applications both in research and diagnosticsfields," says He.
 
SDIX supplies antigens, antibodies and assays for thepharmaceutical and biotechnology markets. In the life-science market, SDIX'stechnology and capabilities are being used to help discover disease mechanisms,facilitate development of new drugs and provide antibodies and assays for thediagnosis of disease. SDIX's core technologies—proprietary genetic immunizationtechnology and IVD reagent capabilities—will help expand OriGene's previouslyannounced strategy to further develop the UltraMAB product line, according toHe. UltraMAB, launched in March 2013, is a line of "specificity-verified"monoclonal antibodies, exclusively available from OriGene and developed for IHCapplications.
 
 
He expects the acquisition of SDIX to enhance OriGene'scapabilities to provide the most comprehensive immunization strategies forantibody development using full-length mammalian produced protein and geneticimmunization technologies and to expand antibody and IVD reagent product andservices capabilities to create significant new commercial opportunities forexisting and new customers. He says he believes the "transaction will uniquelyposition OriGene as one of the leaders in antibody development and productionto help our customers find the best solutions for their antibody and assayneeds."
 
 
The $16-million deal adds SDIX's Advanced Genomic AntibodyTechnology, or GAT, to the technologies and global operations of OriGene,including OriGene's extensive array of ultra-specific monoclonal antibodiescalled UltraMAB, its proprietary high-density microarray technology for a widevariety of antibody applications and its cDNA clone collection, a searchablegene bank of several thousand full-length human proteins. The timeframe for finalizing thetransaction and bringing Newark, Del.-based SDIX into the fold is the secondquarter of 2013, pending SDIX shareholder approval.
 
SDIX says it expects the acquisition to result in a broaderportfolio of products and services for customers and a wider reach into marketsthat it "would be challenged to achieve as a standalone business."
 
 
Francis DiNuzzo, SDIX's president and CEO, comments, "Thesale of our life-science business to OriGene is a natural progression forSDIX." Steven Becker, chairman of the SDIX board of directors, says his companyhas sought "over the past few years" to create value for shareholders. 
 
"We believe this transaction is the best possible outcomefor our shareholders, employees and valued customers," he says.
 
 
OriGene says it plans to offer employment to "a substantialmajority" of employees in SDIX.

Ilene Schneider

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