PerkinElmer buys out British gene editing player for $383M, boosting its diagnostics and genomic capabilites
PerkinElmer, the Massachusetts-based diagnostics and life sciences company, has a new acquisition, and it comes with a nearly $400 million price tag.
The company announced Monday that it has purchased UK gene editing biotech Horizon Discovery Group for $383 million in cash. In total, the deal is worth about $368 million and will close sometime within the first three months of next year.
Horizon’s price represented a nearly 110% premium on Friday’s closing price, and the company’s shares soared Monday on the London Stock Exchange to meet that level. PerkinElmer’s $PKI rise was more muted as company stock ticked upward about 2.5% in early Monday trading.
With Horizon in the fold, PerkinElmer said it will now bring in gene editing and gene modulation tools to its automated life sciences discovery and applied genomics capabilities. In turn, that will allow the company to better meet the research demands of scientists in the academic and biopharma arenas.
PerkinElmer also has the goal of expanding its presence in precision medicine, it said, and is aiming to explore next generation cell engineering and customized cell lines with Monday’s deal.
Prior to the deal, PerkinElmer’s diagnostics capacities included high content screening and in vivo imaging, along with microfluidics, robotic liquid handling technologies and sequencing library preparation kits. By bringing Horizon on board, the companies can offer their products across different genotypic and phenotypic approaches, they said, helping researchers speed up decision-making and streamlining workflows.
Horizon comes to the table with CRISPR and RNAi base editing platforms and Monday’s deal is the culmination of a two-year restructuring. Originally, the biotech had planned on submitting a dual-listing for the Nasdaq, but given its smaller size relative to other companies, Horizon felt it was particularly vulnerable to market volatility, per its announcement of the deal. Ultimately, PerkinElmer’s takeover offer proved too good to turn down.
PerkinElmer has been busy throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, developing multiple different testing kits for the disease. The company has received two EUAs thus far, one in May for a serological antibody test and one last week to allow sample pooling for its nucleic acid detection kit. Both of these tests are facilitated in clinical lab settings. The antibody test has 99% specificity and 100% sensitivity after 21 days following the onset of symptoms, PerkinElmer says.
US regulators have encouraged companies to engage in sample pooling as the pandemic has progressed. The pooling method allows labs to mix several samples together and test the pooled sample together, increasing the number of individuals that can be tested without expending additional resources.
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