Agilent adding metabolism analysis tech in $235m Seahorse acquisition

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Seahorse's XFe96 analyser - one of the products that will be added to Agilent's portfolio
Seahorse's XFe96 analyser - one of the products that will be added to Agilent's portfolio

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Agilent Technologies has inked a deal to acquire Seahorse Bioscience, adding a cell metabolism analysis platform to its lead development and preclinical offerings.

The $235m (€210m) deal, expected to go through in November, will see Agilent bolster its separations and mass spectrometry solutions business, adding Seahorse’s cell-based assay tools which includes its proprietary XF Technology.

The platform uses cell culture assays to measure oxygen consumption and extracellular acidification to analyse cell metabolism, aiding researchers and drug developers across a full range of disease areas.

The technology was described by Patrick Kaltenbach, president of Agilent’s Life Sciences and Applied Markets Group, as “the perfect complement”​ to the firm’s current offerings in separations and mass spectrometry.

“The combination of these two platforms gives scientists a more comprehensive and faster path to researching the most challenging diseases affecting mankind,”​ he added.

Seahorse is headquartered and has manufacturing operations in Massachusetts, and has offices in Denmark and China. The firm employs almost 200 staff, the majority of which are expected to join Aligent.

“We are proud to have enabled the exploration of bioenergetics in living cells by nearly 10,000 scientists worldwide, and to have created a new category of cell-based assay tools,”​ said Seahorse’s CEO Jay Teich. “When these two technology-rich companies combine, we expect to offer a series of new products and applications that will benefit our customers.”

Two years after Agilent separated​ its life sciences division from its electric measurement business, the deal came as no surprise to Evercore ISI analyst Ross Muken, who said it was “in-line with management's recent capital allocation pledge to focus on tuck-in M&A.”

He continued: “From a positioning standpoint, the strategic merit appears logical as this will complement existing spectroscopy technology (mainly acquired from Varian) and will likely sell well into the pharmaceutical and A&G end markets.”

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