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Caliper Sells Two Product Lines to Biotage

a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Continuing its strategy to divest non-core parts of its business, Caliper Life Sciences today announced it has reached an agreement to sell its RapidTrace solid phase extraction and TurboVap evaporation product lines to Biotage for $16.5 million in cash.

Biotage also assumes liabilities of about $500,000.

In a statement, Caliper President and CEO Kevin Hrusovsky said that the deal "simplifies our product offerings allowing further focus on our core growth businesses of biomolecular sample preparation, imaging and analysis platform, and also adds cash to our balance sheet to enable potential future investments," in high growth markets the company serves, such an next-generation sequencing, biotherapeutics, molecular diagnostics, and imaging.

Hrusovsky added that beyond the sale announced today, there may be manufacturing, innovation, and commercial channel collaboration opportunities between Caliper and Biotage in the future.

The two product lines had revenues of about $9.5 million in 2009, Biotage said in a statement.

The sale is expected to be completed by May 28. Caliper will continue to manufacture both the RapidTrace and TurboVap product lines for Biotage as part of a three-year manufacturing supply arrangement. About eight Caliper employees involved with the two product lines will be offered jobs at Biotage.

The RapidTrace SPE Workstation is a modular, highly scalable, automated sample prep high-throughput solid phase extraction platform. Caliper and Biotage recently collaborated to make the platform compatible with all Biotage Isolute SPE cartridges.

The TurboVap Concentration Evaporator Workstations are concentrators controlled by microprocessors and provide unattended, automated sample evaporation for sample preparation.

Torben Jorgensen, president of Biotage, said that the acquisition is "another important step in Biotage's strategic focus to expand further and deeper into the sample prep market."

The deal is part of Caliper's strategy to shed businesses that are outside of its core operations. In December, the firm sold its Xenogen Biosciences subsidiary to Taconic Farms for about $11 million. At the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference a month later, Hrusovsky said that over the next few years, Caliper expects to sell additional segments of its business, with total revenues of between $10 million and $25 million. The divestitures likely to focus on some automation and/or robotics products in the company's portfolio, he said at the time.

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