Repligen Corporation will expand its bioprocessing services into the process analytics space through the acquisition of C Technologies.
The deal, set to close in the next few weeks, sees Repligen add Bridgewater, New Jersey-based spectroscopy firm C Technologies to its bioprocess services. The $240 million (€214 million) deal is comprised of $192 million in cash plus $48 million in Repligen common stock.
Repligen has focused over the last few years on broadening out its bioprocess portfolio. While it still boasts Protein A chromatography media and ligands at its core, CEO Tony Hunt has since 2014 followed an M&A strategy that has seen the firm beef up its chromatography systems and enter the upstream technology space. These include the acquisition of Refine Technology, Atoll GmBH and the Novasep subsidiary TangenX Technology.
Now, through the addition of C Technologies, the vendor will establish a process analytics franchise to feed what it says will feed biopharma’s need for off-line, at-line and in-line measurement technologies.
“As the industry moves towards semi-continuous and continuous processing the importance of process analytics, especially at-line or in line monitoring of the process, becomes more important. Customers want to make decisions in real time and avoid having to wait for long turn-around times on samples going to quality control labs etc,” CEO Tony Hunt told Bioprocess Insider.
“We see process analytics as an important next step in the evolution and diversification of our Company,” he said, adding C Technologies is a great fit for Repligen.
C Technologies’ tools includes the SoloVPE platform and Slope Spectroscopy, aimed at overcoming limitations of fixed pathlength methods as a concentration measurement method for biologics and small molecules.
“Solo VPE is the gold standard in the industry and is used for the most part in downstream bioprocessing – it is the gold standard because you get protein concentration measurement up to 250mg/ml without any serial dilutions which is a major pain point for typical UV/Vis spectrophotometers or flow cells,” said Hunt.
Real-time process monitoring or in-line monitoring is at the early stages of adoption within the industry, Hunt told us.
“Bioprocessors measure pH, conductivity, pressure, UV in-line today but as the industry moves towards continuous the need for more robust and faster turnaround results with in line tools becomes more critical. Typical UV sensors today cannot give an accurate reading of protein concentration during the manufacturing process.
“The Flow VPE technology solves this problem but it’s in the early stages of adoption. We are excited about the potential and think over the next few years we will see accelerated adoption of this technology.”
Checks all the boxes
The deal “checks all the boxes,” according to Jefferies analyst Brandon Couillard.
In a note he said there are several compelling aspects of the deal including: The “entry into a new, fast growing category of process analytics with unique technology;” a complementary portfolio with potential synergies with its filtration & chromatography portfolio, and adding around $500 million to Repligen’s total available market (TAM).
Hunt confirmed the complementary nature of the deal with Repligen’s filtration and chromatography business, and revealed his firm’s plans for integration.
“We will expand the C Technologies sales team so that we have analytics specialists within our global commercial team. Once integrated we expect the business to grow especially in the regions where C Technologies does not have a direct sale presence today – EU and Asia.”
Repligen announced the deal in line with its preliminary first quarter 2019 financial results. For the period, the firm expects to see year-on-year growth of 35-37% growth in sales, up to $60-61 million.