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GE to buy Xcellerex in latest biomanufacturing-focused investment

By Gareth MacDonald+

08-Mar-2012

GE Healthcare has announced plans to buy US production tech firm Xcellerex, continuing its efforts to build its biomanufacturing offering.

The deal – financial terms of which have not been disclosed – will see Xcellerex’ 135 strong workforce, facility in Marlborough, Massachusetts and range of production bioreactors and Flexfactory modular production line system expand GE’s portfolio.

Catarina Flyborg, Bioprocess Product Marketing Leader, GE Healthcare Life Sciences told in-Pharmatechnologist.com drug industry customer demand for complete biomanufacturing solutions prompted the deal.

We’re increasingly finding that our customers are looking for what we call a start-to-finish approach – customers want more than just buying individual components – they want to work with a partner who can offer an integrated range of products and services, and a company that can help optimise every stage of their manufacturing process -  both upstream and downstream.“

Flyborg went on to say that the acquisition – which is expected to close in the second quarter – is about building for the future, adding that the plan is to invest in Xcellerex and leverage existing GE resources to drive growth.

As part of the GE organisation, the Xcellerex team will have access to significant worldwide research resources and global reach of GE that will accelerate the development of new products and services. Our intention is that the Xcellerex business will continue operating out of its existing facilities.

GE has sought to cement its position in the biomanufacturing sector in recent months, beginning in September when it announced its intention to invest $1bn (¼754m) in the development of new technologies over the next five years.

Since then the firm has entered a cross licensing agreement with Sartorius Stedim Biotech (SSB ), settled a long running dispute with Bio Rad over a molecular interaction monitoring technology and – in December – signed a turnkey biologics plant development pact with engineering group M+W .

Most recently GE has partnered with an academic institution in Singapore in a bid to provide training for bioproduction operative and – as a by-product – ensure that its platforms are the technologies on which the next generation of manufacturers are trained.

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