The SynPro acquisition brings Agilent a contract manufacturing facility, based in Boulder, Colorado, that makes short synthetic DNA and RNA molecules for pharma and biotech industries.
Agilent, which is perhaps better known for its activity in measurement technologies, plans to continue with the plant's contract manufacturing operations, however, it is also using the experience to gain new insight into the world of RNA production, with a view to developing new business opportunities for the company in this area in the future, such as new measurement technologies in RNA and possibly even in-house RNA drug development.
"RNA is a new area for us and one of the things that attracted us to the SynPro plant is that it comes complete with intact manufacturing operations, including expert staff in this field, and also opens the door for Agilent to enter this exciting new market," John Eaton, vice president of corporate development told In-PharmaTechnologist.com.
"Agilent has identified RNA synthesis as an excellent growth opportunity," said Eaton.
Based on Agilent and industry estimates, the size of the combined RNA and DNA synthesis market is currently worth $700m (€567m), with an anticipated growth of 10 to 20 per cent per year.
"RNA is an area that has really taken off in the last few years, with so much exciting research going on in this area. This research is opening up the door for a range of exciting new therapeutics," said Darlene Solomon, director of Agilent Laboratories.
In addition to new opportunities in RNA, the acquisition will also enable Agilent to offer a range of new services, including development of analytical methods and processes, stability studies, quality control, and regulatory support.