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Axela Hires Investment Bank to Explore Strategic Opportunities, Including Potential Sale

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Multiplex instrument developer Axela today announced the hiring of investment bank AmeriTech Advisors to explore strategic opportunities for the firm.

The alternatives to be explored include a merger, partnering or other collaboration agreements, an equity or debt financing, or sale of Axela.

Based in Toronto, Axela develops multiplex tools for analyzing DNA, RNA, and proteins. According to the company, it has spent the past two years transforming itself from an engineering-based life science tools operation into a "strategically focused solutions provider, poised to exploit large market opportunities in cancer, immunology, specialty diagnostic, and life science markets.

"Axela has focused its [molecular diagnostic] applications on rapidly growing markets which demand the combination of high numbers of gene and/or protein markers, rapid results, and competitive pricing," it added.

Axela's main technology platforms are the Ziplex System and the dotLab mX System. Ziplex is a medium-density microarray instrument for the multiplex analysis of protein or RNA biomarkers. The platform combines automated hybridization/protein binding, washing/labeling, and imaging onto a single benchtop instrument, Axela said.

The dotLab mX uses diffractive optics technology to combine multiplex immunoassay formats with real-time measurements. The platform, according to the company's website, can be used for protein biomarkers research and the "investigation of new diagnostic tests."

In the summer Axela inked a deal with OvaGene to commercialize that firm's ovarian cancer pharmacogenomic test, as GenomeWeb Daily News' sister publication BioArray News reported. During the past year, Axela also has forged distribution deals with Isogen and Cronus, covering the Benelux region and Spain, and the UK and Ireland, respectively.

Axela is the latest company operating in the life science 'omics and molecular diagnostics space to hire an investment bank in recent months in order to explore strategic alternatives. Other firms which have done so include Complete Genomics, whose purchase by BGI is on the verge of being completed, and Life Technologies.