Beast of bio-burden: Charles River to buy bacterial test firm Celsis

By Fiona BARRY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bacteria

Beast of bio-burden: Charles River to buy bacterial test firm Celsis
Charles River is set to buy QC company Celsis in a $212m deal to expand its Endotoxin and Microbial Detection business.

When the transaction is completed – likely in Q3 – Charles River will acquire Celsis’s bacterial detection systems for product-release testing. Assets include Advance II, Accel, and Innovate systems for non-sterile applications.

Celsis’s offerings will add to Charles River’s existing Endotoxin and Microbial Detection assets, including the recently introduced PTS-Micro, a rapid bioburden detection system for sterile biopharmaceutical applications.

Charles River acquired bacterial and fungal testing labs for its EMD unit when it bought German firm Accugenix in 2012.

Testing demand

CRL said the combined EMD and Celsis portfolios will offer sterile and non-sterile applications from a single provider.

CEO James Foster commented, “The acquisition nearly doubles the market opportunity for EMD testing products and services, offering access to the consumer products market in addition to our core biopharmaceutical market. Celsis’s robust financial profile enhances the EMD business, which is our highest-growth and one of our highest-margin businesses.

We expect Celsis to be immediately accretive to non-GAAP earnings per share in 2015, with a more significant contribution in 2016 and beyond.​”

The cash deal is expected to generate “modest​” synergies of around $2m in 2016, the company said.

Earlier this year, Charles River’s VP for EMD told Outsourcing-Pharma.com​ demand for bacterial testing – a $1.4bn market – is driven by IV and infusion drugs:

Microbial contamination in injectable drugs is extremely serious – the body has no ability to filter the bacteria through your gut, and severe sepsis can happen,​” said Foster Jordan.

Therefore because it’s so critical it tends to become a burden to the manufacturing process because you’re so concerned about cleanliness it tends to slow everything down.​”

Jordan said frequent and portable testing​ is becoming popular, as manufacturers turn away from “critical points​” analysis and towards examining the whole production process.

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