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GE Healthcare, Biacore, Invitrogen, Harvard Bioscience, Beckman, Rentschler, Cellca

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GE Healthcare to Acquire Biacore for $390M

GE Healthcare, through its wholly owned subsidiary GE Medical Holding AB, this week announced its intention to acquire Biacore International for approximately SEK2.9 billion ($390 million) in order to expand its worldwide protein research footprint.

GE Healthcare will initiate a tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Biacore for SEK330 per share, and the offer is expected to commence by July 10 and end on August 10. Biacore's board of directors has unanimously recommended accepting the offer, the companies said.

Shareholders in Biacore hold approximately 41.3 percent of the company. Pfizer Health is the largest shareholder, holding approximately 4 million shares, or 41 percent of the company, and has "irrevocably and unconditionally committed to accept the offer," the companies said. Management and members of Biacore's board of directors together hold approximately 0.3 percent of the company, and have also committed to accept the offer.

Biacore, based in Uppsala, Sweden, trades on the Stockholm Stock Exchange under the symbol "BCOR." The offer of SEK330 per share represents a premium of 35 percent relative to Biacore's volume weighted average share price of SEK245 on the SSE during the month ended June 19; and a premium of 17 percent relative to the closing share price of SEK282 on June 19, the companies said.

GE Healthcare does not currently own any shares in Biacore. The offer will be financed by cash funds contributed by GE Medical Systems Information Technologies, which is GE Medical Holding AB's immediate parent company.

Biacore sells instrumentation and reagents for analyzing protein-protein interactions for biomedical and drug-discovery research. The combination of Biacore with GE Healthcare will create a broad offering of tools for protein research, the companies said.

"Life sciences is a key area of growth for GE Healthcare, and Biacore is highly complementary and synergistic with our existing protein sciences business," Joe Hogan, president and CEO of GE Healthcare, said in a statement. "Expanding on GE Healthcare's expertise in this area supports our objective of helping to diagnose and treat disease earlier."

Erik Walldèn, CEO and President of Biacore, said in a statement, "As a result of today's transaction, Biacore will be able to benefit from the additional technical and commercial resources of GE Healthcare to accelerate its growth and further expand our opportunities in protein research."

Biacore employs approximately 300 people worldwide, and operates R&D and manufacturing facilities in Uppsala, where GE Healthcare's Life Sciences business is also headquartered. Upon completion of the tender offer, GE Healthcare intends to combine Biacore with GE Healthcare Life Sciences to create a center of excellence in protein science in Uppsala, the companies said.


Invitrogen to Use BioProcessors' SimCell in PD-Direct Services Offering

Invitrogen said this week that it will add the SimCell robotic system from BioProcessors to its process development services offering.

Under the terms of the technology collaboration agreement, Invitrogen is installing a SimCell unit in its Grand Island, NY, facility.

Invitrogen's PD-Direct clients will have access to BioProcessors' high throughput simulated scale-down bioreactor tool beginning this fall. PD-Direct handles manufacturing scale-up, quality testing, and cell line optimization functions for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.

The companies will collaborate on the development of high-throughout cell culture applications for the SimCell platform and will expand microbioreactor technology for use in other areas, Invitrogen said.


Harvard Bioscience Buys Reader and Washer Product Lines from Beckman Subsidiary Anthos

Harvard Bioscience said this week that it has purchased Anthos Labtec Instruments' microplate reader and washer product assets.'

Anthos is a subsidiary of Beckman Coulter. Harvard Bioscience completed the purchase through its Austrian subsidiary, Asys Hitech GmbH.

The acquisition strengthens Harvard Bioscience's own microplate reader and washer product line and expands the company's distribution channels. These products are expected to add $2 million to $3 million in revenue, said Chane Graziano, the company's chief executive officer, in a statement.

It also gives Asys Hitech a new design platform, software, and a luminescence capability, said David Parr, managing director of Biochrom, Asys Hitech's parent company. Asys will manufacture, develop and support products in its Salzburg, Austria facility.

Beckman Coulter sold the product lines to Asys after determining they were "not a good strategic fit" to its business, according to Chris Neary, a vice president at the company.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed.


Rentschler and Cellca to Co-Develop, -Market Expression System for Bioproduction

Rentschler Biotechnologie and Cellca, both based in Laupheim, Germany, this week said that they have entered into a co-development and co-marketing agreement for a high-level expression system for mammalian cells.

The platform will be based on Cellca's existing expression system for the production of mammalian cell-derived recombinant proteins, metabolically optimized host cell lines for high protein synthesis, and tailored high-performance culture media. The new system is expected to be suited for large-scale bioreactors without any process changes, the companies said.

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