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Active Motif Acquires Amaryllis Nucleics

NEW YORK – Active Motif said on Thursday that it has acquired Amaryllis Nucleics, a startup working on RNA sequencing methods.

The deal provides Active Motif with a method for RNA-seq library prep using intellectual property associated with 3' digital gene expression detection. "The technology utilizes a novel synthesis chemistry that is twice as fast from RNA to library prep compared to other methods, is less expensive, and shows greater than 99 percent strand-specificity," the firm said in a statement. Active Motif will also integrate Amaryllis' services business.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We feel as if we have identified a novel, highly differentiated method for interrogating RNA that will fit nicely into our portfolio and aid us in the enablement and advancement of precision medicine," Active Motif CEO Ted DeFrank said in a statement.

Oakland, California-based Amaryllis is a University of California, Davis spinout founded in 2016. According to the firm's website, it has spent two years optimizing RNA-seq library prep by exploiting the phenomenon of nucleic acid terminal "breathing" to insert adapters at the 5' end of RNA, which eliminates steps in the process to save time and money. The firm is a graduate of the IndieBio startup accelerator program.

This is not the first acquisition for Active Motif, a Carlsbad, California-based reagents supplier and services supplier: In 2013, the firm acquired SwitchGear Genomics.

Active Motif said it has already begun transitioning kit manufacturing and Amaryllis' service business to its own site and is committed to providing business continuity for existing Amaryllis customers.