Oxford Gene Technology acquires Cambridge’s Cytocell
Genomics innovator, Cytocell, has been acquired for an undisclosed sum by Oxford Gene Technology (OGT).
Founded in 1991, Cytocell has a strong foothold in the fast growing Fluorescent in-situ hybridization market with a distribution network that spans over 60 countries.
Fluorescent in-situ hybridization (FISH) is used to identify chromosomal abnormalities and for gene mapping. Recent technological advances have changed the landscape of the market and according to reports, FISH products are currently estimated to be worth $295m, growing at 19 per cent per annum.
Cytocell’s growth has been marginally above that at 20 per cent in the last financial year with sales of £4.5 million, a growth rate matched by OGT in 2013 whose revenues reached £11.9m. Cytocell will maintain its Cambridge offices where managing director, Dr Martin Lawrie, will continue to run the operation.
FISH vividly paints chromosomes or portions of chromosomes with fluorescent molecules, a technique used for identifying chromosomal abnormalities and for gene mapping.
OGT says the acquisition will expand its genomic medicine offering with Cytocell’s portfolio of FISH probes complementing its own cytogenetics array and next generation sequencing products. It also enlarges OGT’s product offering to North American customers and strengthens its distributor network.
This is an excellent strategic fit for both Cytocell and OGT, said Dr Lawrie. The aim is to continue to develop and produce our world-renowned FISH-based diagnostic products from our facility in Cambridge and take advantage of OGT’s established sales and marketing infrastructure in the US and Europe as well as its innovative science to expand the markets for these products.
The deal will be immediately accretive upon acquisition and was funded through cash backed by a load from Silicon Valley Bank.
OGT chief executive, Dr Mike Evans, said: The acquisition of Cytocell underscores our commitment to becoming a global leader in genomic medicine. Cytocell brings to the OGT Group, innovative DNA technology, an excellent team and a strong brand with a reputation for high-quality FISH products.
“This is a great opportunity to add to our portfolio of class-leading technologies and position ourselves for growth across new geographical markets and customer application areas.”