Millipore buys its way into new markets

By Gregory Roumeliotis

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Millipore, Biotechnology

In its second acquisition in less than a month, Millipore has
acquired bioprocessing products firm Serologicals for around $1.4bn
(€1bn) in cash, as it tries to boost its growth by expanding in
potentially lucrative market segments.

Following flat operating profits in Q1 of 2006 and in the full 2005 year, the Massachusetts-based company intends to use the acquisition to dominate high growth segments such as drug discovery products and services, antibodies, cell biology reagents, and stem cell research.

The buyout comes after Millipore earlier this month took over Newport Bio Systems, one of the first manufacturers of bioprocess consumable products in the industry, wishing to expand its range of disposable products.

But the merger with Serologicals will have by far the most impact on Millipore, strengthening its Bioscience Division, and is projected to raise annual revenues to approximately $1.4bn from $1bn in 2005.

With Serologicals, Millipore will gain a cell culture supplements capacity that will assist its entry into the $1bn upstream bioprocessing market, making it the only company in the life science industry that can provice both upstream cell culture and downstream separation offerings for biopharmaceutical production, covering applications such as media filtration, cell culture supplements, clarification, separation, ultrafiltration, and final fill.

Millipore will now have a formidable presence in process development and scale-up, upstream processing, downstream filtration, and ongoing compliance monitoring and testing.

"We already competed in the upstream bioprocessing market before the agreement to acquire Serologicals but the agreement to acquire them opens up a broader upstream bioprocessing market, one that will enable us to bring a more complete solution to our customers,"​ Millipore spokesman Tom Anderson told In-PharmaTechnologist.com​.

"The two companies complement each other, serving the same customers with different products and services."

In the same fashion in the area of disposables, Millipore has sought to eliminate the need for its customers to validate multiple products from multiple suppliers by manufacturing all of the components of an integrated disposable solution.

The addition of Newport Bio Systems' single-use process containers, which include bags and liners, to Millipore's Mobius disposable solution, will allow customers to cut down time in their plants, reduce the amount of facility space needed for biologic production, and eliminate a substantial portion of their cleaning and validation requirements.

The Mobius solutions include a suite of disposable technologies - filtration products, process containers, connectors and valves - together with design, validation, and support services.

"Our goal is to become the partner of choice for disposable bioprocessing solutions, and with the addition of Newport Biosystems' process containers we are currently the only provider with a full range of disposable products - from filtration products, to connectors, to process containers, to filling systems, and solutions and services that integrate it all,"​ said Anderson.

"No price adjustments are anticipated as a result of the acquisition and customers will continue to purchase Newport Bio Systems containers and assemblies for the same price they have in the past."

Last year Millipore spent $91m to increase its presence in the disposable manufacturing market by getting NovAseptic, a Swedish company specialising in aseptic processing equipment used in the production of pharmaceutical and biologic drugs.

Related topics: Upstream Processing

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