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Agilent Acquires BIOCIUS Life Sciences

Published: Thursday, March 03, 2011
Last Updated: Thursday, March 03, 2011
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Agilent Technologies Inc. announces that it has acquired BIOCIUS Life Sciences, Inc., developer of the unique RapidFire™ high-throughput mass spectrometry drug-screening platform for the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical markets.

BIOCIUS' RapidFire drug-screening technology has successfully screened millions of compounds, providing results 10 to 100 times faster than traditional screening methods. Using high-throughput mass spectrometry and innovative microfluidics, the RapidFire system enables researchers to gain a fuller understanding of a drug's biochemical properties, including potential liabilities in drug interactions.

"BIOCIUS' unique RapidFire technology gives customers an unsurpassed ability to increase the effectiveness and reduce the cost of drug discovery and compound identification," said Gustavo Salem, vice president of Agilent's Biological Systems Division within the company's Life Sciences Group. "With this technology and the team that developed it now part of Agilent, we can expand our reach in the pharmaceutical and clinical mass spec markets."

"RapidFire instrumentation and research services are highly valued by leading drug discovery researchers around the globe," said Jeffrey Leathe, former chairman and chief executive officer of BIOCIUS. "As we continued to leverage those relationships and our experience into current and new markets, the natural evolution of the company was to partner with a world-class organization to accelerate our application development and further market penetration. Agilent's breadth of global resources and market strategy are the best fit for BIOCIUS to drive RapidFire into new markets going forward."

Based in Wakefield, Mass., privately held BIOCIUS was formed in 2009 as a spinoff from BioTrove Inc. Named from the Greek word "bio" (life) and the Latin word "ocius" (faster), BIOCIUS provided products and services committed to speed and accuracy across a range of applications, including drug discovery and ADME. Thirteen of the top 14 biopharmaceutical companies use products from BIOCIUS. The company employed about 25 people, who have now joined Agilent.

BIOCIUS' ultra high-speed automated valving, solid-phase extraction, and data-processing systems, when coupled with triple quadrupole or TOF/QTOF mass spectrometers, provide extremely high sample throughput for the biopharmaceutical market.

The company's products include the Rapid Fire 200, RapidFire 300 and RapidFire 360 high-throughput mass spectrometry systems. Agilent and BIOCIUS jointly announced the introduction of the RapidFire 360 in May 2010 at the annual American Society for Mass Spectrometry Conference.

The RapidFire 360 is designed for high-throughput screening of in vitro ADME assays. Combining the accurate mass capabilities of Agilent's time-of-flight mass spectrometers and the unprecedented sample processing speed of RapidFire technology, the instrument has revolutionized in vitro ADME analysis by eliminating the method development bottleneck in drug discovery.

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