Agilent has signed a definitive agreement to acquire automation expert Velocity11 for an undisclosed amount to enable it to speed up drug discovery and genomics research.
The acquisition of Velocity11 will enable Agilent to offer its pharmaceutical and genomics customers automated high throughput packages that will automate entire processes from the initial liquid handling stages to work and analysis procedures.
While financial details of the deal were not disclosed, the acquisition is expected to be completed within the next 30 to 60 days, subject to certain closing conditions.
Agilent are keen to keep the same personalised service that Velocity 11 has been offering its customers since it was founded in 1999 and will be offering jobs to 'substantially all' of Velocity11's 150 employees worldwide.
"Velocity11 is a market leader in lab automation with a solid reputation for innovative technology, quality products and superb customer service," said Nick Roelofs, vice president of Agilent's Life Science Systems and Solutions Unit.
"Together, we can offer customers a comprehensive set of workflow solutions with increased levels of automation, which can help speed drug discovery and genetic research. When the acquisition is final, customers will continue to experience the same personalised customer service they've come to expect from Velocity11, with the addition of Agilent's strong network of global service and support."
Having achieved profitability within its first year of incorporation, Velocity11 has been recognised by accounting firm Deloitte as one of the "Fastest Growing US Tech Companies".
The company was founded by four engineers from Incyte who named the company after the term "escape velocity" which is approximately 11.2 km per second.
The company's incredible growth has been derived from sales of its standalone, benchtop and large automation systems to customers in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries as well as leading genome centres and academic institutions.
The company makes two liquid handling systems, the Bravo and VPrep as well as range of microplate management systems for coding, sealing, storing, centrifuging, piercing and handling multiple well plates.
In addition, the company also makes larger multi-armed robotic systems such as the Element, BioCel and BenchCel workstations.
In combination Agilent's analytical instrumentation these products should enable true end-to-end automated systems to be developed that will speed up drug discovery and genetic research.
"We are very excited to be joining Agilent and to have found a company with such a complementary culture, product line, commitment to customer satisfaction and vision for providing complete automated workflow solutions," said Rob Nail, Velocity11's CEO.
"The ability to leverage Agilent's global infrastructure and deep applications focus will allow us to continue to improve the services we provide our customers, innovate in new directions, and rapidly expand our reach worldwide."