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Cell Biosciences Buying Convergent Bioscience for $12M

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Protein analysis firm Cell Biosciences today said it has entered into a definitive agreement to buy Convergent Bioscience for $12 million in a cash deal.

The deal is expected to expand Cell Biosciences' protein analysis product portfolio "and transform Cell Biosciences into the premier provider of capillary-based protein analysis technology," the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said in a statement.

Convergent, based in Toronto, "pioneered the use of imaging capillary electrophoresis for protein charge heterogeneity characterization," critical for quality control of protein biologics, Cell Biosciences said.

Convergent was founded in 1945 and employs 45 people. More than 320 of its systems have been bought by more than 100 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies across the world for biologics quality control monitoring.

As a result of the deal, Cell Biosciences will have access to the protein biologics market, which the company called an attractive, high-growth segment. The acquisition, it said, is an important step as Cell Biosciences aims to become a leading global provider of protein analysis technologies.

According to Cell Biosciences President and CEO Tim Harkness, the strategic fit of the two firms is "nearly perfect." Its NanoPro systems and the Convergent iCE280 are based on similar technologies though each has been optimized for different applications in different markets.

"We expect to realize immediate synergies across both organizations, ultimately leading to groundbreaking next-generation products for our customers," Harkness said.

The deal is expected to close by the end of this month.

Convergent's 2010 revenues are expected to be around $8 million.

In connection with the acquisition, Cell Biosciences also announced that it has entered into agreements to raise about $20 million in a Series F Preferred Stock financing. The round is being led by Essex Woodlands Health Ventures. Existing investors who will also participate include Wellcome Trust, Novo A/S, Domain Associates, Latterell Venture Partners, the Royal Bank of Canada, the Vertical Group, and Lansing Brown Investments.

Cell Biosciences raised $10 million in a Series C round last year.