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Mar 4, 2014

OGT Catches FISH with Cytocell Acquisition

  • Oxford Gene Technology (OGT) said it acquired Cytocell, in a deal that expands OGT’s genomic medicine offerings into fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) diagnostic products, and immediately boost sales and earnings, while holding the potential for new products based on the acquired company’s technology. The acquisition price was not disclosed.

    OGT said its CytoSure™ cytogenetics array and next-generation sequencing products will be complemented by Cytocell’s FISH probes. That will allow the combined company to capitalize on a market estimated at $295 million and expected to grow 19% per year through 2018, according to a MarketsandMarkets study cited by OGT.

    OGT added that the deal will give it a source of potential new products through Cytocell’s collection of 34,000 Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) clones, as well as a strengthened network of distributors since Cytocell relies on a network of distributors to supply its more than 300 products to more than 60 countries, except where it sells to end-users directly, as in the U.K. and Germany.

    OGT said its existing North American cytogenetics sales team will work with Cytocell’s current distributor, Rainbow Scientific, to enhanced service and promotional capability.

    “The acquisition of Cytocell underscores our commitment to becoming a global leader in genomic medicine,” Mike Evans, D.Phil., OGT’s CEO, said in a statement. “This is a great opportunity to add to our portfolio of class-leading technologies and position ourselves for growth across new geographical markets and customer application areas.”

    Established in 1991, Cytocell is a profitable company with annual sales of £4.5m (about $7.5 million), and growth that reached 20% during its last financial year. OGT said the acquisition will allow it to increase sales and profits immediately.

    The acquisition was funded through cash and a debt facility provided by Silicon Valley Bank. As part of the deal, Cytocell’s managing director Martin Lawrie, M.D., will join OGT’s executive committee.

    “The aim is to continue to develop and produce our world-renowned FISH-based diagnostic products from our facility in Cambridge and take advantage of OGT’s established sales and marketing infrastructure in the U.S. and Europe as well as its innovative science to expand the markets for these products,” Dr. Lawrie said.



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