Protein boost for Repligen through $150m Avitide buy

The latest acquisition by Repligen will boost its proteins business, adding bespoke affinity purification ligand manufacturer Avitide.

The deal sees bioprocess vendor Repligen Corporation shell out $75 million in cash and $75 million in stock for Lebanon, New Hampshire-headquartered firm Avitide.

Avitide is a manufacturer of chromatography resins used in downstream bioproduction and its bespoke commercial offering will bolster Repligen’s own proteins business and its affinity ligand discovery service.

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Repligen’s legacy proteins business – which includes its Protein A chromatography ligand and cell culture capture media, deemed to be the gold standard for monoclonal antibody (mAb) capture in large-scale purification – has played second fiddle on the M&A front since 2014 when the then newly installed CEO Tony Hunt began to diversify Repligen’s business.

While he has been true to his word – in July French hollow fiber technology firm Polymem became the latest in a string of bioprocess bolt-on acquisitions – demand for ligands and media have not abated. And with continued revenue growth, the firm has struck various deals in the proteins space.

In 2018, Repligen entered into a long-term agreement to co-develop a series of affinity ligands focused on mAb and non-mAb targets with Navigo. The two firms have since expanded the collaboration to develop Protein A-derived affinity ligands for use in purifying COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics.

The Avitide acquisition “builds off the excellent partnership we have already established with Navigo GmbH and really strengthens and expands our ligand discovery and development capabilities,” Repligen CEO Tony Hunt said in a statement.

“Together, we anticipate bringing many new products to market over the coming years, directly addressing the growing need for affinity solutions in gene therapy and other emerging modalities.”

Kevin Isett, Avitide’s CEO, congratulated his entire team on LinkedIn “for their hard work and tenacity for building the industry’s premier affinity chromatography development platform,” before welcoming his new Repligen colleagues.

“We look forward to joining the team and working beside you to contribute to Repligen’s impressive trajectory to better serve our customer bioprocessing needs.”

The deal is expected to close in the next few weeks.

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