Agilent buys Seahorse Bio for $235M to increase presence in research labs

XF Analyzers--Courtesy of Seahorse Bioscience

Agilent ($A) continued its foray into diagnostics and scientific research equipment with the planned acquisition of Seahorse Bio for $235 million in cash. The deal is expected to close by Nov. 1.

Agilent says nearly 10,000 scientists use Seahorse Bioscience's proprietary XF Technology to research cell metabolism as it relates to a variety of topics, including neurodegeneration, aging, cancer, cardiovascular disease and cell physiology.

XF Analyzers indicate mitochondrial respiration by measuring cells' oxygen consumption rate and extracellular acidification rate. The information has a broad class of diagnostic applications. For example, Seahorse says cell viability tests can provide an indication of cell death, an important factor in toxicology.

The company also sells associated consumables, such as reagents, media and carrier trays.

"Seahorse Bioscience's unique technology is the perfect complement to Agilent's market-leading separations and mass spectrometry solutions, in particular for metabolomics research and disease research in pharma," said Patrick Kaltenbach, the president of Agilent's life sciences and applied markets group, in a statement. "The combination of these two platforms gives scientists a more comprehensive and faster path to researching the most challenging diseases affecting mankind. Seahorse's team and technology are an ideal fit for Agilent and for our customers, and we look forward to bringing them on board."

Meanwhile, Jay Teich, CEO of Seahorse Bioscience, said in a statement that he believes the combined companies will be able offer a series of new products and applications to its customers.

The Billerica, MA, company employs almost 200 people, most of whom are expected to join Agilent.

In May, Agilent acquired Cartagenia, maker of Bench Lab, a platform for recording and sharing data produced by clinical genetics and molecular pathology laboratories. The product enables researchers to analyze clinically relevant structural variants and next-generation sequencing data in the context of data from clinicians, test multiple hypotheses and create lab reports, demonstrating the company's newfound focus on diagnostics and scientific research.

The most recent acquisition is part of a restructuring initiated last year, when Agilent spun off its electronic test and measurement business, creating a new company dubbed Keysight Technologies. Later that year Agilent announced it is exiting the nuclear magnetic resonance business.

In addition to lab equipment, the company makes a variety of reagents and machines for quantitative measurement of polymerase chain reactions (qPCR) for use in the diagnostics industry, which should complement Seahorse Bio's offerings.

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