Tillman Gerngross project out of Dartmouth College acquired by Repligen
Hot off of his biotech unicorn landing on the Nasdaq, another project from the lab of Dartmouth College engineering professor Tillman Gerngross has made news, as it’s been acquired by Repligen.
Avitide will now be owned by Repligen, the company announced last Thursday, in a move made to boost its proteins business.
The deal moves Repligen into the world of affinity resin purification for gene therapy, and complements an established partnership with Navigo GmbH, the company said in the press release. Avitide develops purification technology for programs ranging from preclinical to commercial products. Earlier this month, Navio and Repligen collaborated to develop a ligand that helps overcome challenges associated with the purification of pH sensitive antibodies.
The deal is good for $150 million, $75 million of which is cash, while the other half is based on earnest payments over the next three years. Avitide is expected to bring in about $10 million in revenue in 2022, and the move is expected to be completed during Q3 of 2021.
“We are excited to have the entire Avitide team join Repligen and look forward to accelerating the commercialization of Avitide’s discovery platform,” Repligen CEO Tony Hunt said in a press release. “Together, we anticipate bringing many new products to market over the coming years, directly addressing the growing need for affinity solutions in gene therapy and other emerging modalities.”
Gerngross and former graduate students Kevin Isett who is now the president and CEO of Avitide and Warren Kett founded the company in 2013 to develop purification technology. The company has been based out of the Dartmouth Regional Technology Center in Lebanon, NH and has contracts with 18 different companies. This is Gerngross’ second big sale, as he sold GlycoFi, a company that uses yeast cells to generate human proteins to treat autoimmune disease, in 2006 to Merck.
In 2020, Gerngross created Adagio Therapeutics to help develop antibodies for the Covid-19 pandemic. It went public last August, and before the market opened Thursday, was listed for $44.92 on the Nasdaq. The company’s foundation is that the pandemic will never really end,
Back in 2017, Repligen merged with Spectrum, which specializes in filtration and purification, for $359 million in cash and stock. Meanwhile, a year before that, Avitide announced that it had completed a Series D financing round, after a $7.6 million round was not enough to take the company into profitability.
Avitide won’t be moving down to Boston anytime soon, as the company will remain in New Hampshire, a big win for the state’s biotech scene. Spokeswoman Sondra Newman told the Valley News that the site will remain ‘business as usual’ and all of the current employees will have the option to stay on.
“We have no plans to close or consolidate operations,” she said in an email to the New Hampshire newspaper. “The current team and all employees are expected to stay on (all will have an offer to remain with Repligen).”