PerkinElmer acquires Avalon Instruments for Raman

Acquisition will broaden PerkinElmer’s molecular spectroscopy product portfolio with a Raman spectrometer line.

Lisa Espenschade
BOSTON—PerkinElmer Inc.'s, acquisition of Avalon Instruments Limited, based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, will broaden PerkinElmer's molecular spectroscopy product portfolio with a Raman spectrom­eter line.
 
Simon Wells, molecular spectroscopy business manager, life and analytical scienc­es, at PerkinElmer says Avalon's dispersive Raman products complement PerkinElmer's existing ultraviolet and infrared spectrome­try offerings. "From a technical point of view, this is a very strong fit with PerkinElmer's current technology and product portfolio." Under the acquisition, which was finalized on September 1, PerkinElmer acquired all Avalon's intellectual property and products, including Raman-based microscopes and spectrometers. Financial terms of the deal were not released.
 
For Andrew Dennis, who founded Avalon six years ago and now serves as Raman spec­troscopy business leader at PerkinElmer, the acquisition brings opportunities to pro­vide better sales channels, installation, and support for Avalon's instruments. "Having a very good technology or very good products is only one part of the jigsaw puzzle," he says. "The fit between us and PerkinElmer is really, really great."
 
Manufacturing the Raman line at PerkinElmer's Llantrisant, South Wales, facility will reduce lead times for delivery and take advan­tage of existing capabilities for assembling equipment with rela­tively unusual echelle technology, which is in both PerkinElmer's atomic spectrometers and Avalon's Raman spectrometers. Moving manufacture to Wales also stream­lines Belfast operations by freeing up Dennis's R&D team to work on product improvements and new applications rather than assembly and customer service.
 
Another plus under the acqui­sition is that PerkinElmer has increased instrument docu­mentation on the Raman line. "Within the drug discovery area the appropriate documentation which proves the integrity of the results is very, very important," says Dennis, who believes that PerkinElmer's efforts to pursue more rigorous compliance should make the equipment even more appealing to researchers.
 
Dennis and Wells say that with high resolution and spectral inten­sity, Avalon's Raman spectrom­eters are particularly useful to drug discovery researchers study­ing polymorphisms. "The perfor­mance that we get from these new instruments really fills a void in the way Raman is presented to industries like the pharmaceutical industry," says Wells.
 
PerkinElmer plans to roll out a full advertising campaign and global launch for the Raman line this fall; most of Avalon's prod­ucts will remain, at least for the short term. "We wouldn't be excited about having this new product line without being com­mitted to its future," says Wells. Although he says Raman technol­ogy has had a reputation for being expensive and time-consuming, PerkinElmer hopes to reach more customers by demonstrating that Avalon's products, which will be sold under the PerkinElmer label, require less time and money for operation and maintenance than people might think.
 
Performance and ease of use are particularly important for prod­ucts like Avalon's high-throughput push-button spectrometer, believes Dennis. The company "put a lot of effort into giving the user high quality of results but making the instrument in such a way that they don't have to adjust the instru­ment, they don't have to calibrate the instrument, they don't really have to support the product. The scientists can concentrate on their science and the instrument takes care of itself."

Lisa Espenschade

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