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SANTA CLARA, Calif.—Cell Biosciences Inc. announced the acquisition of Lexington, Mass.-based Protein Forest Inc. in December. Calling the company "a leader in sample preparation technology for proteomic analysis and biomarker discovery," Cell Biosciences President and CEO Tim Harkness touts this acquisition in particular for adding Protein Forest's novel digital ProteomeChip product line to Cell Biosciences' "expanding portfolio of innovative products for protein analysis."
In connection with the all-stock acquisition, Cell Biosciences also raised an additional $4 million in an equity financing, led by Novo A/S.
Protein Forest was founded in 2002 largely on the power and potential of its novel technology for rapid, highly reproducible protein fractionation of complex biological samples. As Harkness points out, this is an important prerequisite step when researchers are performing quantitative proteomics measurements.
According to the companies, Protein Forest's technology—which includes the digital ProteomeChip product line and its associated instrumentation, software, reagents and proprietary consumables—can be used very effectively at the front end as a sample preparation solution for many protein analysis techniques, including Western blot analysis and mass spectrometry.
Moreover, Harkness notes, it can be for front-end sample preparation for Cell Biosciences' own nanoproteomic platforms.
"This acquisition adds an exciting sample preparation product line to our growing protein analysis business," Harkness says. "The lack of reproducible sample preparation has become a serious problem for proteomics researchers. We believe that the digital ProteomeChip products represent a powerful solution for this market need."
He adds that the digital ProteomeChip product line "fits perfectly with our strategic plan and will be leveraged immediately by our global distribution organization."
It also adds to the potential for Cell Bioscience products to continued to "uncover fundamental mechanisms controlling cell proliferation and cell death, to accelerate the development of new therapeutics, and to help identify new prognostic and diagnostic disease biomarkers."
Just three months earlier, Cell Biosciences had acquired Alpha Innotech for approximately $17.9 million in cash, a move that Harkness said would "significantly expand Cell Biosciences' protein analysis business to include a global infrastructure and a broad protein analysis product portfolio." Alpha Innotech's products ranged from entry-level gel documentation systems to premier systems for multiplexed fluorescence and proteomics applications.
Commenting on the transaction at the time, Harkness said: "This strategic acquisition marks an important milestone in our plan to create a profitable, high-growth protein analysis business with global reach. There is a great strategic fit in people, products, technologies, and customers between Cell Biosciences and Alpha Innotech. I am particularly excited by the critical mass of talent and industry experience this combination creates."
Cell Biosciences is a private life sciences company focused on defining the future of protein analysis, particularly through nanoproteomics. The company develops instrumentation systems, sample preparation systems, software and assay products that drive discoveries in fields ranging from fundamental protein research to biomarker discovery and personalized medicine. With an installed base of over 10,000 systems, its customers include leading research institutions, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide.