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GE Healthcare boosts biopharma capabilities with Xcellerex acquisition

Expands manufacturing services in recombinant proteins, antibodies and vaccines

GE Healthcare plans to buy US company Xcellerex, boosting its manufacturing biomanufacturing services in areas such as recombinant proteins, antibodies and vaccines.

GE said there was a strong strategic fit between the two companies and the deal would “strongly enhance” its offering to customers.

Dr Nigel Darby, vice president of biotechnologies, and chief technology officer at GE Healthcare Life Sciences, said: “GE and Xcellerex share the vision that an integrated approach, where we can help customers optimise every stage of their manufacturing process, has the potential to increase production flexibility and to deliver higher yields of finished product while reducing time to market.

“With the global focus on spiralling health costs and the need for sustainable healthcare, these are critical issues for the industry.”

Xcellerex develops and produces 'turn-key' biomanufacturing systems and production-scale bioreactors based around single-use components, and the latter, GE said, would complement its own cell culture products.

Xcellerex's president and CEO Guy Broadbent said: "The combination of Xcellerex's people, technologies and services with the resources and global reach of GE Healthcare will allow us to bring forward our plans to grow the business.

“The integration of Xcellerex's products with GE Healthcare's complementary capabilities in upstream and downstream bioprocessing will help bring great benefits to our customers. The entire Xcellerex team looks forward to joining GE.”

The Massachusetts-based company employs approximately 135 people and had revenues of about $50m in 2011.

Financial terms of the deal, which is expected to be finalised in the second quarter of this year, were not disclosed.

Last September GE outlined plans to dedicate $1bn of its healthcare R&D budget through to 2020 to researching biomanufacturing for cancer drugs, along with diagnostics, molecular imaging capabilities and research technologies.

In December the company formed a plant and technology deal with Germany's M+W Group that focused on vaccines, insulin and biosimilar biomanufacturing, with a particular focus on emerging countries.

GE said the strategic alliance would assist countries worldwide in becoming self-sufficient manufacturers of vital biopharmaceuticals in a statement at the time.

12th March 2012

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