KBI Biopharma, Inc. (KBI) has agreed to acquire the assets of San Diego-based Alliance Protein Laboratories (Alliance), a leading analytical services company specializing in biophysical characterization of biopharmaceuticals. Founded in 1998, Alliance is well known and highly regarded around the world for its expertise in characterization of therapeutic proteins, peptides, nucleic acids and vaccines.
Recognized as the foremost expert in analytical ultracentrifugation (AUC), an essential technology for determining physical stability, association state, molecular weight and quantitative characterization of protein aggregates, Alliance was also a pioneer in the use of biophysical methods to demonstrate that the higher order structure of biosimilar proteins and generic peptide therapeutics is comparable to the innovator product. Alliance has supported biosimilar developers since 2003, and has experience across an exceptionally broad range of biosimilar targets.
This acquisition will complement KBI’s extensive analytical and biophysical characterization capabilities, and expands those capabilities to include AUC. All of Alliance’s staff, including co-founders Tsutomu Arakawa, PhD, and John Philo, PhD, will join KBI through the acquisition with Tsutomu and John continuing to oversee operations in the San Diego-based laboratory.
This announcement marks another major expansion announced by KBI in 2017, starting with the addition of its cell therapy development and manufacturing operations in The Woodlands, TX this past February. In May, the company announced plans to expand its capabilities at both its Durham, NC and Boulder, CO facilities. On June 14, it was announced that parent company JSR Life Sciences would acquire Geneva-based Selexis SA to integrate with KBI to provide full gene to GMP solutions for clients.
“We are extremely excited to welcome Alliance Protein Labs, Dr. Philo and Dr. Arakawa to KBI Biopharma,” said KBI President Tim Kelly, PhD “Alliance is a pioneer in the application of biophysical characterization to accelerate biopharmaceutical development, and their expertise in AUC, circular dichroism, light scattering and other techniques has earned the respect and admiration of our entire industry. The leadership of Tsutomu and John in San Diego adds an exciting new dimension for KBI to better serve our clients.”
“Alliance has found the ideal partner in KBI Biopharma,” said Alliance President Tsutomu Arakawa, PhD, “We can now offer our clients a much broader range of analytical characterization services in combination with KBI. KBI’s mission to accelerate biopharmaceutical development aligns perfectly with the core values that drive Alliance. John and I are thrilled to build on the success of Alliance by partnering with KBI.”
To date, KBI has helped to advance more than 300 molecules in 68 unique health indications. With the addition of these expanded analytical capabilities, and by adding a laboratory facility on the West Coast, KBI will continue to accelerate an even broader range of drug development programs for its global client base.