CARLSBAD, Calif.—Life Technologies Corp. has acquired BACBV, a privately held company based in the Netherlands that Life views as aleader in the discovery, development and manufacture of protein purificationproducts. The acquisition expands Life's capabilities and product offerings inthe growing market of biopharmaceutical research and manufacturing. Financialterms of the deal were not disclosed. The tuck-in acquisition of BAC isexpected to be neutral to the company's overall return on invested capitalthree years after close.
"The acquisition of BAC helps accelerate the growth ofLife's BioProduction business, specifically purification, and positions LifeTechnologies as a leading provider of end-to-end solutions that are widelyutilized in the bioprocess workflow," says Tony Hunt, head of bioproduction atLife. "BAC is known as the 'affinity expert' and the leader in the developmentand production of protein purification products. We recognized the value ofbringing BAC into the Life portfolio. With their unique set of innovative andproprietary affinity ligands and Life's world-class POROS resins, we areconfident that our integrated portfolio will uniquely address the market'sunmet needs and expand our reach into existing and new segments. CombiningBAC's current portfolio and pipeline with our pre-existing portfolio expandsLife's product offering and enables us to compete more fully across the proteinpurification market. We intend to immediately integrate the portfolios andleverage the Life commercial platform to drive accelerated growth in thismarket."
Bioprocessing is the production and analytical testing ofbiologically based therapeutics, which are developed in cultured cells ormicroorganisms, and include drugs, vaccines, biosimilars and gene and celltherapies. Life's Gibco brand is the market leader in cell culture media, aposition it has held for 50 years, and the company more recently integrated itsPOROS brand of chromatography resins for purification of therapeutic productsinto its Bioproduction portfolio.
The acquisition expands Life's existing portfolio by addingBAC's proprietary affinity ligands to the company's POROS resins. As the nameimplies, affinity ligands are molecules capable of binding with very highaffinity to specific proteins, and are typically attached to chromatographyresins in a production-scale, biopurification process. The purification ofbiotherapeutic proteins involves linking multiple filtration and chromatographysteps together, with each step providing a higher level of purity, Huntexplains.
"Most commonly, three chromatography-based proteinpurification steps are used," he says. "The first step is called capturechromatography. Here, affinity chromatography is routinely used. In this step,an affinity tag that is specific for the protein of interest is used. It is ahighly selective step, and the backbone of the purification process. The secondand third steps are both polish chromatography steps, responsible for removingtrace levels of impurities. The technology strength of Life Technologiescenters on high-performance, ion-exchange chromatography resins for polishchromatography. BAC specializes in the development and commercialization ofnovel affinity ligands. Together, Life Technologies and BAC can now developnovel affinity chromatography resins and provide high-performancechromatography products for the entire bioprocessing workflow."
"We are looking forward to developing and providing unique,enabling products from our combined portfolios and capabilities to ourpurification customers," says Dr. Laurens Sierkstra, CEO of BAC.
Sierkstra and an additional 34 employees will join LifeTechnologies. Current BAC facilities, a manufacturing site in Naarden andR&D facility in Leiden, Netherlands, will remain in operation.