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Fluorotechnics expands into the US with GelCo buy

By Dr Matt Wilkinson , 15-Sep-2008

 

Australian proteomics fluorescence expert Fluorotechnics has agreed to buy The Gel Company as part of its strategy to cement itself as a world leader in protein electrophoresis.

 

The acquisition of The Gel Company (GelCo) will give Fluorotechnics a firm foothold in the US as well as a product portfolio targeting applications in proteomics, cell culture, DNA sequencing, liquid handling, microarray and PCR (polymerase chain reaction).

The GelCo product suite also enables Fluorotechnics’ non-fluorescent backed electrophoresis gels to operate on the majority of instrument platforms used during a typical proteomics experiment.

Sales of proteomics tools are on the rise as more and more researchers look to understand how protein expression is linked with disease onset and progression.

This increased need for proteomics tools is no doubt the driving force behind Fluorotechnics aim to become a world leader in protein electrophoresis instrumentation and consumables.

“GelCo sells its products online and via its direct sales team. With GelCo’s San Francisco distribution office, Fluorotechnics gets a very useful launch pad for the US market,” said Duncan Veal, CEO of Fluorotechnics.

“The synergies achieved through this acquisition are very strong. Fluorotechnics will be able to offer a more complete solution to customers, with more products being sold to the same customers.”

The news of Flurotechnics second acquisition comes just four days after it lodged a prospectus for an initial public offering (IPO) aiming to raise up to $12m.

According to Veal, the money raised from the IPO should “allow Fluorotechnics to ramp-up its production capability to meet the significant unmet demand for its proteomics products.”

The company was spun-out of Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia in 2002 to commercialise the use of a new family of fluorescent molecules found in a brilliantly coloured fungi.

The company’s first product used the dye as a cell stain but the product portfolio quickly grew to include a range of proteomics products that include blot stains, protein quantification kits and stains for determining specific protein modifications.

These products were predominantly based on the epicocconone family of fluorophores which have become popular for the detection and measurement of proteins in research diagnostics and quality control.

In November last year, the firm acquired ETC Elektrophorese-Technik to gain access to the company’s electrophoresis expertise and high-end electrophoresis instrument lines and consumables.

That merger enabled Fluorotechnics the ability to not only stain and detect proteins, but also the tools and expertise needed to separate them.

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