Millipore moves for Guava to boost bioscience

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Millipore Marketing Flow cytometry Medicine

Millipore hopes its $23m (€18m) swoop for Guava Technologies will draw attention away from the underperformance of its bioprocess division, revenue from which fell 6 per cent in Q4 to $214m (€165m) and 2 per cent for 2008 overall.

Bioprocessing has been the millstone around Millipore’s neck for some time and, despite some increase in demand for process monitoring tools like its NovaSeptum sampling product, all indications are that the situation will continue.

In contrast, revenues from Millipore’s bioscience division grew 3 per cent to $183m in the three months to December 31 last year, although the rate of expansion fell slightly following the elimination of what the firm describes as a “small” product line.

Millipore explained that the bioscience gains had been driven by new product launches and strong growth in Europe and Asia, with its laboratory water business being a key performer.

Predictably therefore, expansion of its bioscience offering and portfolio, rather than its bioprocessing woes, was the focus of Millipore’s results presentation. CEO Martin Madus said that “One of our highest priorities will be to accelerate our new product innovation through R&D, partnerships and strategic acquisition​.”

Madus cited the deal for Guava, which adds microcapillary flow cytometry technology to its existing range of flow reagent kits, as an example of the strategic acquisitions the firm has in mind

He added that the move is “a good example of the attractive opportunities that exist to expand our product portfolio into fast growing market segments."

Jonathan DiVincenzo, who heads up Millipore’s bioscience business, echoed Madus’ thoughts and explained that: "Our vision is to make flow cytometry less expensive, easier to use, and more accessible for all research scientists​."

The purchase builds on the collaboration that the two firms established in March last year. Under that deal Millipore had been distributing Guava’s non-clinical flow cytometry technology for selected applications in North America, Europe and Asia.

DiVencenzo said that sales of the technology to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries had exceeded Millipore’s expectations, explaining that the acquisition will further expand its presence in the market.

Millipore also signed deals with Novozymes Agilent, Technologies, Applikon Biotechnology and Solabia in 2008.

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