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Abcam to Acquire Firefly BioWorks for $28M

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – British research tools maker Abcam announced today that it has signed an agreement to acquire Cambridge, Mass.-based Firefly BioWorks for £18.5 million ($28 million) in cash.

Founded in 2010, Firefly has developed a multiplex assay biomarker-detection platform based on a proprietary technology called optical liquid stamping, which combines photolithography with microfluidics. The company's first products allow for the detection of cellular and circulating microRNAs.

Abcam said that the acquisition fits its strategy of establishing new growth platforms and that Firefly will strengthen its kits and assays business with its multiplex assay capability, which it said could potentially be combined with its RabMAb rabbit monoclonal antibody products.

"The acquisition of Firefly represents a compelling strategic fit for Abcam, expanding our Kits and Assays business into the new areas where life science researchers tell us they have the greatest needs," Abcam CEO Alan Hirzel said in a statement. He added that the acquisition will enable the firm to "offer researchers access to a novel technology that will enable them to assess the role of miRNA in a broad range of areas including epigenetics and cancer biomarker discovery, as well as generally across biological research."

The acquisition is expected to close by the end of the month.