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Invitrogen to Acquire Cell-Based Assay Company Sentigen for $26M

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Invitrogen today said it will acquire cell-based assay company Sentigen Holding for around $25.9 million in cash.
Invitrogen is betting that Sentigen's Tango assay system and division-arrested assay-ready cells will help it grow its own assay-development business by providing an additional way to screen G-protein coupled receptors and other “key” drug target classes.
Invitrogen said it also expects the acquisition to provide it with a methodology to convert live cell assays into ready-to-use consumable products.
Sentigen, based in Phillipsburg, NJ, will become part of Invitrogen's Discovery Sciences Business, located in Madison, Wis. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.
Sentigen’s Tango assay technology is applicable for GPCR targets and can also measure protein-protein interactions in living cells, according to Invitrogen. Sentigen subsidiary Cell & Molecular Technologies launched the Tango GPCR assay platform one year ago.

According to CMT, the platform comprises a panel of 54 GPCR targets. Key features of the luciferase-based chemiluminescent assay platform include up to 1,700-fold signal-to-background rations, high specificity, and broad applicability to novel targets, including orphan receptors.

Sentigen’s assay ready cells, meantime, are designed to “uncouple” the process of cell production from cell-based drug screening

Invitrogen will buy Sentigen by paying $3.37 for each of the company’s outstanding shares. The purchase price represents a 35-percent premium over the average closing price of Sentigen's common stock for the 30 business days preceding the agreement, Sentigen said.
Sentigen had $11.7 million in cash and cash investments as of As of June 30.

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