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Agilent to Acquire ACEA Biosciences

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Agilent Technologies announced today that it has agreed to acquire ACEA Biosciences for $250 million in cash.

Privately held ACEA, which is based in San Diego, has most recently developed a line of xCELLigence impedance-based, label-free, real-time cell analysis instruments that are used in immuno-oncology, pre-clinical drug discovery and development, as well as in basic academic research. The company also sells a line of NovoCyte and NovoCyte Quanteon high-performance benchtop flow cytometry systems.

In a statement, ACEA CEO Xiao Xu noted that his company's instruments, systems, and software complement Agilent's technologies, specifically those used in immuno-oncology and drug discovery.

"ACEA represents a unique opportunity for Agilent to expand its team and broaden its portfolio with highly complementary technology, increasing the relevance and impact we can have with our customers in the cell analysis space," added Todd Christian, vice president and general manager of Agilent's cell analysis division. "We share the same passion around the need for and innovation of live-cell, kinetic, and label-free approaches to cell analysis extending beyond traditional end-point measurements."

This is the latest in a line of several acquisitions Agilent has made this year. On a call with analysts following the release of the company's third quarter earnings in August, Agilent President and CEO Mike McMullen said the firm had invested $430 million in M&A during the quarter, including for acquisitions of ProZyme, Advanced Analytical Technologies, and Ultra Scientific.

Agilent's shares were down a third of a percent to $70.15 in Wednesday morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.