Agilent Technologies Inc. has announced it is expanding its life sciences business with two strategic acquisitions. Halo Genomics, a provider of innovative technology for the rapidly growing next-generation DNA sequencing market, has now joined Agilent. In addition, Agilent has signed a definitive acquisition agreement with BioSystem Development, a company that creates and manufactures solutions to meet the analytical needs of the life sciences industry.
Both companies are privately held. Financial details were not disclosed.
"Life science is the growth engine for Agilent, and these acquisitions are strategically very important," said Nick Roelofs, president of Agilent's Life Sciences Group. "We're getting world-class technology and expertise in two key areas that will help us expand our portfolio and deliver the most complete workflow solutions for our customers."
The acquisition of Halo, based in Uppsala, Sweden, is now final. The asset acquisition of BioSystem Development, headquartered in Madison, Wis., is expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year, subject to customary closing conditions.
Halo Genomics Simplifies Resequencing
Halo Genomics' technology addresses sequence-selective (or 'target enrichment') sample preparation in next-generation sequencing. The company's proprietary HaloPlex technology combines the speed and specificity of polymerase chain reaction-based systems with the scalability and capture-size flexibility of solution-based hybridization formats, thus eliminating the need for library preparation. This fast and simplified target enrichment solution for next-generation sequencing helps to remove bottlenecks associated with targeted resequencing without the use of expensive, dedicated instrumentation or laborious protocols.
Halo Genomics' current HaloPlex technology is offered as a customizable product, using a Web-based design tool called Web Design Wizard. This highly intuitive tool enables users to create designs in less than 10 minutes, at no charge.
Agilent's market-leading SureSelect target enrichment platform was the first commercial in-solution target enrichment offering launched in the market. It has grown to a wide portfolio of products, from all-exon kits to custom designs and preset panels. With its high performance and flexibility, SureSelect has become the most commonly cited target enrichment tool in the market. HaloPlex technology complements SureSelect by providing a high-performance solution for small capture sizes, at a speed that specifically addresses the needs of the desktop sequencing market and clinical sequencing space.
"Halo Genomics' unique technology and talented R&D team will expand Agilent's solutions for emerging sequencing applications and accelerate our entry into the rapidly growing next-gen clinical sequencing market," said Gustavo Salem, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Biological Systems Division within the Life Sciences Group. "This acquisition further builds upon Agilent's position as a leader in genomics."
"Joining Agilent is a win-win situation for Halo employees and our valued customers," said Olle Ericsson, former CEO and founder of Halo Genomics. "With Halo's innovative technology and Agilent's market-leading products and long history of quality and service, we look forward to offering our customers an expanded portfolio of solutions to meet their needs."
BioSystem Development Addresses Evolving Sample-Prep Needs for Drug Development
BioSystem Development currently supplies Agilent's Automation Solutions business with AssayMAP cartridges used in conjunction with Agilent's Bravo liquid-handling platform for protein purification and characterization workflows. The Agilent Bravo automated liquid-handling platform and BioSystem Development's AssayMap technology combine high throughput and best-in-class automated liquid handling with AssayMAP microchromatography technology to enable true chromatographic separation with precision flow control.
"We are excited about bringing BioSystem Development, a valued partner, into Agilent," said Fred Strohmeier, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Liquid Phase Analysis Division within the company's Life Sciences Group. "BioSystem Development's innovative and versatile microchromatography technology, and the team's applications expertise, will help Agilent expand its capabilities as a sample-prep provider for the life sciences market."
As life science discovery and development continues to move toward a better understanding of biological responses to disease, the need for high-throughput, quality protein sample preparation and analysis becomes even more critical. BioSystem Development's AssayMAP platform, based on disposable microchromatography cartridges, enables high-throughput protein purification, characterization and analysis solutions for bioprocess development, biomarker identification and analysis, as well as a variety of other life science research applications. The enabling AssayMAP technology, combined with Agilent's automated liquid-handling capabilities, reduces drug discovery and development time and increases lab efficiency.
"As an industry leader in providing innovative automation solutions, we are very excited to join the Agilent family," said Scott Fulton, CEO of BioSystem Development. "We look forward to leveraging Agilent's global reach, research and development arm, and diversified product portfolio to expand and improve our solutions."