Sigma-Aldrich signs microbial growth system distribution deal with BioSilta

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Sigma-Aldrich signs distribution deal for BioSilta's Enpresso growth systems
Sigma-Aldrich signs distribution deal for BioSilta's Enpresso growth systems

Related tags Biotechnology Merck kgaa

Despite a $17bn bid from Merck KGaA, it’s “business as usual” at Sigma-Aldrich which has signed a distribution agreement with reagent-based microbial growth systems firm BioSilta.

The non-exclusive worldwide distribution agreement will see Sigma-Aldrich offer BioSilta’s Enpresso growth systems for microbial cell cultures to its customers.

The systems use the Cambridge, UK-based firm’s EnBase ​technology platform, which controls the feeding, and thereby growth, of microbial cultures in the upstream process. Glucose-releasing agents break down long chains of polysaccharides, releasing glucose units to feed the microbes and, according to the firm, “there are no other similar growth systems,”​ only traditional growth media supplied in liquid or powder form.

Conventional growth media allows microbes to grow in an uncontrolled manner and can produce harmful metabolites, whereas the Enpresso systems increase the yield of recombinant proteins used for applications ranging from in vitro assays to structure/function studies, the company says.

The agreement with Sigma-Aldrich “gives BioSilta global coverage,”​ a spokesperson told, by leveraging Sigma-Aldrich’s current customer base and marketing efforts.

Last month, Germany’s Merck KGaA announced plans to acquire Sigma-Aldrich for $17bn​ (€13bn) in a deal that would consolidate the life sciences tools and supplies market.

“Sigma have stated ‘business as usual,’”​ BioSilta told us, “so the acquisition by Merck is not affecting their marketing efforts and EnPresso products are available to order from their global website.”

BioSilta recently benefited from a €2.5m cash injection from investors used to expand its sales and distribution network.

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