PerkinElmer acquires U.K.-based Improvision

Company plans to marry its products with those of recently acquired Evotec

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WALTHAM, Mass.—In a cash transaction concluded in April, PerkinElmer Inc. acquired Improvision Ltd., a Coventry, U.K.-based provider of cellular imaging software and integrated hardware solutions for life sciences, in a cash transaction. Improvision reported revenue of approximately GBP 6 million in 2006.

According to PerkinElmer, the deal adds powerful 3D cell imaging capabilities, provides customers with a full range of easy-to-use cellular imaging systems and furthers the company's leadership in the growing cellular sciences market."

"PerkinElmer now provides pharmaceutical and academic researchers with a single source for imaging and analysis solutions that will help increase their understanding of disease mechanisms at the cellular level, potentially speeding the development of new therapies for conditions such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes and cancer," says Gregory L. Summe, chairman and CEO of PerkinElmer.

This deal builds upon PerkinElmer's recent acquisition of Evotec Technologies, a provider of high-performance cellular screening systems, which gave PerkinElmer a platform for high-content analysis that reportedly combines the precision of confocal microscopy with the throughput required for primary and secondary screening. The product portfolios of Improvision and Evotec Technologies will be integrated and fully supported by PerkinElmer's highly regarded sales and service organization.

The acquisition might mark the first time many drug discovery researchers have ever heard of Improvision, notes Mary Duseau, vice president of detection and analysis systems for PerkinElmer. "They have some great instruments and software, but they were aimed at the academic market, so a lot of discovery folks aren't really aware of them," she explains.

Bringing on Evotec and Improvision so close together helps to fill out gaps that PerkinElmer had identified in its software and instrument line, says Duseau, who adds, "By marrying the Coventry, U.K. team with the Evotec team, that will give us the capabilities we require to shape the high-content screening market as it evolves with our drug discovery customers."

The Evotec team in Hamburg, Germany and the Improvision team in the United Kingdom will stay in place however, making this a long-distance relationship more than a marriage, though Duseau points out PerkinElmer is already a global company, with "terrific processes in place to work globally." Hamburg will thus become PerkinElmer's R&D Center for Excellence in the area of cellular imaging, while Coventry will becomes its R&D Center for Excellence in the area of cellular imaging analysis.

Improvision's flagship offering is Volocity, a high-performance, high-throughput 3D and 4D imaging software solution that allows users to capture, visualize and analyze images of dynamic cell-based processes, as well as integrated software and hardware solutions for the control and analysis of microscopy systems. Volocity is said to complement PerkinElmer's UltraVIEW Live Cell Imaging system, which captures high-speed, high-resolution, multi-dimensional images of live biological samples including cultured cells, tissues and embryos. Additionally, Improvision provides integrated software and hardware solutions for microscopy systems control and data analysis.

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