Millipore has bolstered its position in the contract testing business with the acquisition of a Dutch contract laboratory.
The US-headquartered company snapped up MicroSafe, which develops assays and provides a range of testing services to help leading European biotech and pharmaceutical customers monitor for quality and compliance in the drug manufacturing process, for approximately $9.3 million (€7.8m). Microsafe employs 30 people and is based in Leiden, The Netherlands.
Martin Madaus, Millipore's CEO, said that the acquisition would help expand the scope of services the company can offer to its biotech and pharmaceutical customers, particularly in the area of virus and mycoplasma testing.
The presence of mycoplasma - a unique group of microorganisms that fall in the category between the bacteria and viruses - in cell cultures can have a dramatic impact on the growth and metabolism of the cells, and a knock-on effect on the yield - and possibly the activity - of the recombinant protein.
"Their application knowledge will also help us accelerate development of products and systems for rapid process monitoring," he commented.
Microsafe was set up in 1993 and provides cell bank and seed lot testing, as well as assay development and validation, routine quality control testing, microbial clean room validations and environmental monitoring, process validation, troubleshooting, training and consultancy. The company has annual revenues of $4 million, and says it is currently expanding its capabilities 'to meet growing customer needs'.
Fathia Methnani, managing director of MicroSafe, commented: "With Millipore's market presence in Europe and scientists and applications specialists in the field we will be able to bring our services to more clients and we'll be able to expand those service offerings."
Methnani will continue to direct MicroSafe operations.