Bruker ups X-ray analysis franchise with Socabim buy

By Phil Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pharmacology

Germany's Bruker AXS is to acquire privately held French company
Socabim, a company focused on advanced X-ray materials research and
analysis software.

Socabim already supplies software for X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) materials analysis to Bruker AXS and while the acquisition will not add to Bruker AXS' revenue, but is expected to increase the Bruker AXS gross margin by more than one per cent.

Bruker AXS intends to merge and co-locate Socabim and its French subsidiary Bruker AXS SA near Paris. The two co-founders of Socabim, Julien Nusinovici and Pierre Caussin, as well as all the firm's employees, are expected to join the merged company. Nusinovici and Caussin will continue to serve as senior managers of the Socabim division of the merged company.

Dr. Frank Burgazy, managing director of Bruker AXS and president of Bruker AXS SA in France, said that bringing Socabim's existing software range and R&D team in-house would accelerate the time-to-market of its new X-ray analysis products, which are used in a broad range of industries, including pharmaceuticals.

With this acquisition, Bruker AXS said it is significantly expanding its core technology base in two of its strategic product and applications areas. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2006, and will add $0.01 per share to Bruker AXS parent Bruker Biosciences Corp in 2006 according to the company.

X-ray diffraction has many applications in the pharmaceutical industry - from drug discovery, pre-formulation and formulation, through to manufacturing and quality assurance. In all of these areas, it can be used to determine the crystallographic constitution of the sample from which the physical properties of an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) or an excipient can be derived. Meanwhile, X-ray fluorescence is used in the pharmaceutical sector to detect inorganic contaminants in the production process.

Both technologies are cited in the US Food and Drug Administration's new initiative on Process Analytical Technology (PAT).

This initiative will allow drug companies to monitor their manufacturing processes continuously and automatically in real time, rather than intermittently and historically via samples and post-manufacturing quality controls. The result should be higher quality, reduced production costs and less wastage during manufacturing.

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