Sartorius: $36m WaterSep buy to further boost filtration ambition

Sartorius will bolster its downstream offering by adding hollow‑fiber membrane manufacturer WaterSep BioSeparations. The deal comes a month after Sartorius closed its €360 million acquisition of BIA Separations,

Bioprocess vendor Sartorius Stedim Biotech announced this week it will pay $27 million for Marlborough, Massachusetts-based purification firm WaterSep BioSeparations, with a further $9 million to be paid depending on a defined sales revenue growth by 2023.

WaterSep makes hollow-fiber membrane devices and pre-sterilized assemblies for upstream and downstream biopharmaceutical applications.

Image: iStock/AndreyPopov

“The acquired technologies complement our current offering for cell and gene therapy applications, cell harvesting and various solutions for intensified bioprocessing,” spokesperson Timo Lindemann told Bioprocess Insider. “They will be integrated into the Sartorius Stedim Biotech Group.”

Sartorius says the crossflow filtration units made by WaterSep are “especially suited to gene and cell therapy applications,” but can be applied across all forms of bioprocessing.

“Hollow fibers are suitable for antibodies as well as for cell and gene therapies,” Lindemann said. “But especially in cell and gene therapy, hollow fibers fulfill an important requirement – handling large particles such as cells, viral vectors, etc. during both harvesting and concentration.”

The deal comes just weeks after Sartorius closed its acquisition of Slovenian purification tech firm BIA Separations for €360 million ($423 million). BIA Separations manufactures products for purification and analysis of large biomolecules, including viruses, plasmids and mRNA.

Bolt-on acquisitions are a major part of Sartorius’ growth strategy, Lindemann told us.

“Our innovative power rests on three pillars: our own specialized product development, the integration of innovations through acquisitions, and alliances with partners in complementary fields. Please note that the order does not imply any weighting.”

WaterSep employs around 15 people and is expected to earn revenue of approximately $2.5 million in 2020.

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