Bruker taps into single-cell biology with $108M deal for PhenomeX

Bruker has signed a $108 million cash deal to acquire the short-lived PhenomeX and absorb its single-cell research tools into its life sciences product catalog. 

PhenomeX was formed earlier this year after Berkeley Lights bought up IsoPlexis, a former Fierce Medtech Fierce 15 winner, and adopted a new moniker through an all-stock transaction valued at $57.8 million. The two research hardware companies set out to provide analyses into live biological function by classifying secreted proteins on a cell-by-cell basis.

Now, PhenomeX, with its installed base of more than 400 instruments, will serve as Bruker’s entry point into single-cell research and boost its spatial biology programs. 

Its offerings—including Berkeley Lights’ Beacon platform and IsoPlexis’ IsoLight and IsoSpark proteomic barcoding systems—will sit alongside Bruker’s various analytical and diagnostic solutions as it becomes a wholly owned subsidiary. Priced at $1 per share, the deal is expected to close before the end of this year.

The Beacon Optofluidic system is designed to assist researchers in biologics development by characterizing tens of thousands of single cells in parallel, while keeping the cells healthy enough for additional DNA or protein profiling. Meanwhile, the IsoLight and IsoSpark instruments automate multiplexed measurements of the proteins released between different cells.

“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,” said Mark Munch, president of Bruker’s NANO Group, which also houses its X-ray analysis instruments and tools for electron microscopy.