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Pall to buy ForteBio to build biopharma biz

By Gareth Macdonald , 22-Dec-2011

Pall will buy US instrument maker ForteBio next year in a continuation of efforts to build its biomanufacturing technology offering.

The deal will add California, US based ForteBio’s family of label-free protein analysis instruments - which use biosensors capable of measuring multiple protein interactions in parallel - to Pall’s existing process and microbiological monitoring systems.

The acquisition – which is expected to complete in February 2012 – makes sense given that the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry was the key growth driver for Pall’s Life Sciences Business in 2011 according to recently appointed CEO Larry Kingsley.

BioPharmaceuticals continues to be the engine of our Life Sciences business and an important long-term growth accelerator. The addition of ForteBio’s platforms into our business reinforces Pall’s commitment to helping customers get their life-changing products to market safely and on time.”

Zacks Equity Research was equally positive about the deal, commenting that it “will enable Pall to expand its reach in the more than $1bn biopharmaceuticals process monitoring market.”

Biopharma growth

Buying ForteBio would also fit with other moves Pall has made in the biomanufacturing space in the last six months – ranging from the expansion of its Allegro mixer range in July to its alliance with UK-based bioanalytical technology company Avacta in October .

More recently, Pall established a centre of excellence (CoE) for biomanufacturing at the Gemini Science Park II in Singapore , citing the rapid growth of the country’s biodrug production sector as the major motivation.

News of the ForteBio deal follows just days after Standards and Poor’s (S&P) said it may upgrade its rating of Pall – currently at BBB – if the firm continues to see its operating performance improve.

S&P Analyst Dan Picciotto told the Wall Street Journal the filtration, separation, and purification industry has good prospects, with growth that is expected to exceed the rate of US gross domestic product.

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