Best of both worlds

AB Sciex combines Eksigent chromatography with Beckman Coulter capillary electrophoresis to drive separations innovation

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FRAMINGHAM, Mass.—Two leading life-science companies ownedby Danaher Corp. are creating a new structure to combine their approach toseparations technologies. This new alignment between AB Sciex and Beckman Coulterwill enable the companies to better serve customers while addressing analyticalchallenges with powerful scientific strategies that take advantage ofcomplementary technologies, according to the companies.
The Eksigent liquid chromatography (LC) team of the Sciexseparations business and the capillary electrophoresis (CE) team of BeckmanCoulter, a leader in benchtop capillary electrophoresis, will work together todevelop solutions for fast and efficient separation of drugs, drug metabolites,organic acids, amino acids, low molecular-weight amines, peptides, nucleicacids and nucleosides. The combination of CE technology with nano -LC andmicro-LC to broaden the range of solutions available to customers is aimed atcontributing to the advancement of biologics, clinical research and academicresearch for biological applications.
"As we considered ways to expand our separations business,we saw synergies between our existing Eksigent business and Beckman CoulterLife Science's CE business," explains Dr. Ben Moshiri, director of theseparations business at AB Sciex. "Among the synergies is the combination of CEtechnology and mass spectrometry technology. We both have been providingsolutions to a similar customer base. For example, both groups are targetingthe biologics market, so we came to the conclusion that we could be strongertogether as one business."
"We see the complementary nature of Beckman Coulter'sexpertise in microscale separation with AB Sciex's expertise in microfluidicsas a real opportunity to do something special," adds Dr. Jeffrey Chapman,strategic marketing manager for Beckman Coulter. "Being part of Danaher gave usthe opportunity to explore these possibilities."
The transition includes personnel, CE technologies andresources from Beckman Coulter Life Sciences to AB Sciex, according to Moshiri.Chapman adds that the integration "will unfold phase by phase in order to bethe least disruptive. We intend to make this seamless for our customers, havinga well-defined integration plan that will get us all aligned quickly."
Moshiri explains that an integration team is guiding thetransition. 
"We are creating a dedicated sales, service and R&D teamthrough this integration of expertise, complementary technologies andcapabilities," he says. "While getting the transition right is important, weare also intensely focused on continuing to serve CE customers. Part of ourrole is to ensure that customers continue to get the same high level of serviceand support."
Chapman says Beckman Coulter is working closely with ABSciex to "make the integration go forward as smoothly as possible." The CE teamwill remain at its existing sites in Brea and Carlsbad, Calif., andIndianapolis, among other sites.
"Beckman Coulter will continue to manufacture the CEproducts with the same high quality," Chapman says.
The companies plan to do phase 1 of the integration by theend of the third quarter and then have the entire integration completedworldwide by the beginning of 2014. AB SCIEX will be directing the CE businessby September. 
"It will take a little longer to move all the back-officedata from Beckman to AB Sciex, but we will get it done," Moshiri says.
He adds, "the commercial potential is significant. We planon joint product development as well as helping each other expand in multiplemarket segments. For example, the CE team's strong presence in biologics willsurely help AB Sciex expand in biologics, which is already a key area for us,but we can gain much more ground. Separations technologies are also always evolving, so our joint productdevelopment work will give us an advantage. We are committed to investing inand advancing both the standalone CE technology and the CE-MS technology. Weare customer solutions-focused. We're not technology-constrained." 
Chapman concludes, "we see major opportunities in biologicsand proteomics right out of the gate. We will also explore the potential of newinnovation in clinical research and academic research. And let's look at CE-MS.By working together as one unit, we will be able to take CE-MS much furtherthan if we went it alone."

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