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Feb 21, 2013

Biosearch Eyes Europe Growth with Two Acquisitions

  • Biosearch Technologies said today it acquired the oligonucleotide manufacturing division of Danish-owned DNA Technology and German-owned controlled-pore glass (CPG) manufacturer VitraBio, in a deal the buyer said reflected its growing commitment to Europe’s biotechnology and diagnostic markets. Prices for both acquisitions were undisclosed.

    Biosearch, headquartered in Novato, CA, said the deals would benefit the company by adding a production team with a mature quality system; supplying an established European customer base focused in the continent’s Nordic countries; growing the company’s European sales, production, and regulated contract manufacturing capabilities; and providing manufacturing redundancy for its North American operations.

    Until now, Biosearch has done business in northern Europe through a pair of distributors. BioCat has represented Biosearch in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, while Bio-Mediator has represented the company in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.

    Founded in 1993, privately-held Biosearch designs, develops, and manufactures oligonucleotide-based tools. They include fluorophores such as the CAL Fluor®, Quasar® and Pulsar® dyes; and dark quenchers such as the Black Hole Quencher® dyes. The dyes are included in custom-synthesized probe formats for real-time, quantitative PCR, Stellaris® RNA FISH, and other genomic-based applications.

    Biosearch’s dual acquisitions come less than a year after the company bought a 120,480-square-foot office/industrial building in Petaluma, CA, for $7 million and disclosed plans to expand operations there by shifting from Novato some 90 administrative and production staffers. At the time, the company had about 120 employees in two 30,000-square-foot Novato buildings, as well as annual sales of around $30 million, according to a North Bay Business Journal report from August 2012.

    VitraBio, founded in 2003, manufactures CPG routinely used in solid-phase oligonucleotide synthesis. Biosearch gains control over VitraBio’s CPG manufacturing technology and production facility in Steinach, Germany, which will expand its repertoire of oligo synthesis tools and processes.

    In addition to continuing VitraBio’s production of DNA/RNA synthesis support products for the research and therapeutic oligo markets, Biosearch said, it intends to supplement its existing production of specialty amidites and modified CPGs in the U.S. by bringing chemical manufacturing capabilities to VitraBio’s Steinach facility.

    The acquisition will enable DNA Technology, a producer of custom-manufactured synthetic oligonucleotides in Nordic countries, to expand production capabilities and product offerings through full access to Biosearch’s specialty modifications, manufacturing tools, and IP portfolio. Founded in 1992, DNA Technology is headquartered in Risskov, Denmark. 


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