- Scientific instruments maker Bruker has agreed to buy PhenomeX for about $108 million, marking its entry into the market for functional single-cell biology research systems, the companies announced Thursday.
- PhenomeX supplies an analysis platform that enables researchers to characterize tens of thousands of single cells in parallel. Bruker said the technology will support its customers’ abilities to discover new antibodies and accelerate development and manufacturing of cell and gene therapies.
- TD Cowen analysts Steven Mah and Chad Wiatrowski, in a Thursday note to investors, said the life science tools sector is ripe for consolidation, driven by interest in differentiated technologies that help researchers extract findings from large volumes of data through single-cell and other methods.
PhenomeX, which has an installed base of more than 400 instruments, was formed earlier this year by the merger of two cell biology research system makers, Berkeley Lights and IsoPlexis. Its platforms are used by researchers at the top 15 global pharmaceutical companies and about 85% of leading U.S. comprehensive cancer centers, according to the company.
However, PhenomeX has had to contend with a slowdown in large capital purchases across the research lab industry. Earlier this month, it announced a $50.2 million net loss in the second quarter and said it would continue a recently launched process to explore a range of strategic alternatives.
Bruker will buy PhenomeX for $1 per share in the all-cash transaction, the companies said.
Mark Munch, president of the Bruker NANO Group, said the acquisition of PhenomeX will complement Bruker’s emerging spatial biology business.
“The unique single-cell analysis platforms of PhenomeX are enabling researchers to more rapidly and precisely unlock new insights in functional cell biology research, leading to important discoveries across the large and rapidly growing markets of antibody therapeutics, cell line development, cell therapy and gene therapy,” Munch said in a statement.
TD Cowen’s analysts called PhenomeX’s functional biology platform “an attractive and proven technology” whose instruments “together have generated hundreds of publications.”
The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.