Sartorius to acquire Polyplus

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Pic:getty/davidlees
Pic:getty/davidlees

Related tags Sartorius Sartorius stedim biotech

Life science group Sartorius will acquire French company Polyplus for around €2.4bn ($2.6bn).

Polyplus - which is headquartered in Strasburg with around 270 employees across France, Belgium, the US and China - develops and produces transfection as well as other DNA/RNA delivery reagents and plasmid DNA in high quality and GMP grade.

These are key components in the production of viral vectors used in cell and gene therapies and other advanced medicinal therapeutic products.

Sartorius highlights significant growth for Polyplus in recent years, eying up predicted sales revenue in the upper double-digit million-euro range and a ‘very substantial’ EBITDA margin in 2023.

'Dynamically growing market for cell and gene therapies'

Founded in 2001, Polyplus has recently been expanding its focus beyond transfection reagents through acquisitions in adjacent technologies like plasmid design, and protein and plasmid manufacturing, broadening its upstream portfolio for gene therapies as well as gene-modified cell therapies.

In the last two years, it has acquired French CDMO Bio Elpida for fill and finish capacity; Belgian CDMO Xpress Biologics to expand its plasmid DNA engineering tech and services portfolio; E-Zyvec to expand process economics optimization efforts for cell and gene therapy developers and manufacturers; and Hong Kong service firm Biowire.

Sartorius, headquartered in Goettingen, Germany, acquires Polyplus (via its French listed subgroup Sartorius Stedim Biotech) from private investors including ARCHIMED and WP GG Holdings IV B.V., an affiliate of Warburg Pincus

“The innovative solutions of Polyplus are highly complementary to our portfolio, in particular to our offering of cell culture media and critical components for the development and manufacture of advanced therapies, and there are also strong synergies with our portfolio of downstream solutions for the manufacture of gene therapeutics,” said René Fáber, member of the Executive Board and Head of the Bioprocess Solutions division of Sartorius, as the company announced the acquisition on Friday.

“In the dynamically growing market for cell and gene therapies, viral vectors are needed to deliver the genes of interest into cells. The development pipeline of such therapies has been growing strongly and more and more are reaching major milestones. As a leading supplier of critical components to produce cell and gene therapies, Sartorius and Polyplus together will be excellently positioned to play a significant role in this dynamic field.”

Mario Philips, CEO of Polyplus, said the proposed acquisition illustrates the company's 'upstream market leadership position and its highly talented teams around the world'.

“We would be excited to join forces with a world class bioprocess market leader as Sartorius. Our combined portfolios would create a unique ability to optimize the total process workflow to deliver unparalleled value for cell/gene and DNA/RNA therapy customers, in a strong effort to make these critical needed therapies more affordable.”

The transaction is expected to close during the third quarter of 2023.

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