The Japanese stem cell specialist said the takeover - financial terms of which have not been disclosed – will be followed by an investment to expand the range of services offered by Biopta at its facilities in Glasgow, Scotland and Maryland, US.
Biopta's core focus is using human tissues to assess the toxicity of drug candidates, which it claims provides a more prediction than traditional animal models.
Pharmaceutical industry demand for such services is growing according to Reprocell, which said the high cost and time it takes to complete assessments in animal models has prompted sponsors to look for alternatives.
Prior to the acquisition ReproCell’s focus was the development and production of reagents, cells and reprogramming kits for companies developing induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS) based therapeutics.
The Japanese firm said: “With our acquisition of Biopta and the addition of new drug discovery support services to our business line-up, we are able to offer both our main business of the supply of products to pharmaceutical manufacturers, as well as research outsourcing services.”
Reprocell did not outline any target markets, however, policies introduced in November 2013 by the Japanese Government to boost cell and regenerative therapy development may provide the firm with a potential customer base.
The Biopta deal also connects Reprocell to a UK network of specialist contractors with which Biopta partnered in February this year.
The network – which in addition to Biopta includes Molecular Profiles, XenoGesis, Aurelia BioScience, Reach Separations, Charnwood Molecular – was established to provide sponsors with contractors for each stage of the drug development process.