Oxford Gene Technology (OGT) has announced the acquisition of Cambridge-based Cytocell Limited (Cytocell), a leading provider of DNA technology for the detection of gene rearrangements related to inherited genetic disease and cancer.
Key benefits of the acquisition are summarized below:
• Expansion of OGT’s genomic medicine offering. Cytocell’s portfolio of Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) probes complements OGT’s CytoSure™ cytogenetics array and next generation sequencing products.
• Entry into the large and growing market for FISH products. The market for FISH products is currently estimated to be worth $295m, growing at 19% per annum.
• Enlargement of the product offering to North American customers. OGT has a dedicated North American cytogenetics sales team already in place. This team will work with Cytocell’s current distributor, Rainbow Scientific Inc., to provide an enhanced service and promotional capability.
• Strengthening of OGT’s distributor network. Cytocell currently develops and supplies its range of over 300 products to more than 60 countries through a network of distributors, apart from in the UK and Germany where it sells directly to the end user.
• Development of new products. Cytocell’s proprietary collection of 34,000 Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) clones provides a unique source of potential new products.
• Financially beneficial to the enlarged Group. Cytocell is a profitable company with sales of £4.5m and growing at 20% in the last financial year. The deal will be immediately accretive upon acquisition.
• Added experience to the management team. Cytocell’s Managing Director Dr Martin Lawrie will join OGT’s executive committee.
The acquisition was funded through cash augmented with a debt facility provided by Silicon Valley Bank, highlighting the Bank’s commitment to the life science market in the UK. No financial details are being disclosed.
Dr Mike Evans, CEO of OGT said, “The acquisition of Cytocell underscores our commitment to becoming a global leader in genomic medicine. Cytocell brings to the OGT Group innovative DNA technology, an excellent team and a strong brand with a reputation for high-quality FISH products. This is a great opportunity to add to our portfolio of class-leading technologies and position ourselves for growth across new geographical markets and customer application areas.”
Dr Martin Lawrie, Managing Director of Cytocell said, “This is an excellent strategic fit for both Cytocell and OGT. The aim is to continue to develop and produce our world-renowned FISH-based diagnostic products from our facility in Cambridge and take advantage of OGT’s established sales and marketing infrastructure in the US and Europe as well as its innovative science to expand the markets for these products. We very much look forward to being part of the OGT Group.”
Nooman Haque, Director of Life Science at Silicon Valley Bank’s UK Branch added, “The acquisition of Cytocell will further propel OGT’s business in life science products. I’m delighted that Silicon Valley Bank supported the management team in completing the transaction”.