Forest preserve

Acquisition of Protein Forest gives Cell Biosciences extra proteomic muscle

Jeffrey Bouley

 SANTA CLARA, Calif.—Cell Biosciences Inc. announced theacquisition of Lexington, Mass.-based Protein Forest Inc. in December. Callingthe company "a leader in sample preparation technology for proteomic analysisand biomarker discovery," Cell Biosciences President and CEO Tim Harkness toutsthis acquisition in particular for adding Protein Forest's novel digital ProteomeChipproduct line to Cell Biosciences' "expanding portfolio of innovative productsfor protein analysis."

 

In connection with the all-stock acquisition, CellBiosciences also raised an additional $4 million in an equity financing, led byNovo A/S.

 

Protein Forest was founded in 2002 largely on the power andpotential of its novel technology for rapid, highly reproducible proteinfractionation of complex biological samples. As Harkness points out, this is animportant prerequisite step when researchers are performing quantitativeproteomics measurements.

 

According to the companies, Protein Forest'stechnology—which includes the digital ProteomeChip product line and itsassociated instrumentation, software, reagents and proprietary consumables—canbe used very effectively at the front end as a sample preparation solution formany protein analysis techniques, including Western blot analysis and massspectrometry.

 

Moreover, Harkness notes, it can be for front-end samplepreparation for Cell Biosciences' own nanoproteomic platforms.

 

"This acquisition adds an exciting sample preparationproduct line to our growing protein analysis business," Harkness says. "Thelack of reproducible sample preparation has become a serious problem forproteomics researchers. We believe that the digital ProteomeChip productsrepresent a powerful solution for this market need."

 

He adds that the digital ProteomeChip product line "fitsperfectly with our strategic plan and will be leveraged immediately by ourglobal distribution organization."

 

It also adds to the potential for Cell Bioscience productsto continued to "uncover fundamental mechanisms controlling cell proliferationand cell death, to accelerate the development of new therapeutics, and to helpidentify new prognostic and diagnostic disease biomarkers."

 

Just three months earlier, Cell Biosciences had acquiredAlpha Innotech for approximately $17.9 million in cash, a move that Harknesssaid would "significantly expand Cell Biosciences' protein analysis business toinclude a global infrastructure and a broad protein analysis productportfolio." Alpha Innotech's products ranged from entry-level gel documentationsystems to premier systems for multiplexed fluorescence and proteomicsapplications.

 

Commenting on the transaction at the time, Harkness said:"This strategic acquisition marks an important milestone in our plan to createa profitable, high-growth protein analysis business with global reach. There isa great strategic fit in people, products, technologies, and customers betweenCell Biosciences and Alpha Innotech. I am particularly excited by the criticalmass of talent and industry experience this combination creates."

 

Cell Biosciences is a private life sciences company focusedon defining the future of protein analysis, particularly throughnanoproteomics. The company develops instrumentation systems, samplepreparation systems, software and assay products that drive discoveries infields ranging from fundamental protein research to biomarker discovery andpersonalized medicine. With an installed base of over 10,000 systems, itscustomers include leading research institutions, pharmaceutical andbiotechnology companies worldwide.


Jeffrey Bouley

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