April 2015

LGC acquires Biosearch Technologies and extends its expertise in the qPCR market

LGC is pleased to announce that it has agreed to acquire Biosearch, a global leader in the genomics and life sciences industries for the design, development and manufacture of custom oligonucleotides (oligos) and associated reagents for the medical diagnostics, research and applied markets.  Biosearch’s products enable the amplification, detection and quantification of DNA molecules. They are used in the fast growing molecular diagnostics market, as well as to the applied and research sectors of the genomics market, to develop molecular assays to improve testing and diagnosis of human disease and improve yields and disease resistance in animal and plant breeding programmes. Biosearch works with the world’s top 12 molecular diagnostics companies and operates from state of the art facilities in the US and Europe, with headquarters in Petaluma, California.

Oligos are fundamental and highly versatile interrogating biomolecules that accelerate the discovery and application of genomic information in molecular research, in vitro diagnostics, therapeutic and other applied sciences.  They are the critical components for consequential investigations such as human and veterinary diagnostics, pathogen and microbe detection, environmental screening, epidemiological surveillance, and agricultural selection.

Tim Robinson, CEO LGC said: “We are delighted to join our teams, science and expertise together. Through its facilities in Petaluma and Novato (USA), Aarhus (Denmark) and Steinach (Germany), Biosearch is a significant global supplier of custom oligonucleotides as well as reagents for their synthesis. Both LGC and Biosearch have a complementary range of products thus allowing us to provide customers with a one-stop shop for a wide range of genomics applications. We will continue to supply all Biosearch products as well as investing in its development and facilities. Biosearch employs a hugely talented workforce, with a long term and solid reputation for high quality service and delivery to its customers; we look forward to welcoming them to LGC. With this acquisition, we are strengthening our position within the applied genomics market, especially the agricultural biotechnology sector, and broadening our offering to the molecular diagnostics market. Integrating Biosearch’s industry leading products, its unmatched expertise within the qPCR, molecular diagnostics markets and its world class manufacturing capabilities with LGC’s operations will provide many opportunities to expand our genomics business globally.”

Ron Cook, President of Biosearch said: “Over the past two decades, Biosearch has developed formidable technology know how and IP related to the manufacture and application of sophisticated oligonucleotides.  During that time, Biosearch has built a market leading position for the supply of high value oligo components to the molecular diagnostics industry. As a result, our products and IP (such as Black Hole Quenchers) can be found in the most advanced molecular diagnostic assays on the market.  But Biosearch’s ability to address the needs of the international markets for oligonucleotides has been slowed by its relative small size and corporate infrastructure. To solve this problem, we are pleased that LGC has acquired Biosearch, and will make Biosearch operations the headquarters for its Genomics US operations.  LGC’s markets in forensics, agricultural biotechnology, and other applied gene testing applications fit perfectly with Biosearch’s prodigious manufacturing capabilities.    The collective synergies of the companies should result in rapidly expanding growth of the combined entities.”  

The acquisition will enable LGC’s enlarged Genomics division to deliver a unique and compelling product and laboratory services offering for core qPCR and end point PCR applications such as SNP discovery, allelic discrimination and gene expression studies as well as for next generation sequencing. The two organisations have highly complementary product offerings and the combined portfolio will include DNA synthesis reagents, pre-designed assays for genotyping and pathogen detection, custom probes for qPCR, DNA polymerases and KASP™ mastermixes for PCR, as well as instrumentation for high throughput DNA extraction and PCR. Core laboratory services offered by the group will include DNA synthesis of primers and probes incorporating proprietary fluorophores and quenchers (including GMP synthesis for molecular diagnostics and therapeutics), DNA extraction, sequencing, genotyping and gene synthesis. This offering will be made available globally through the newly-combined laboratory and manufacturing footprint in the US, UK, Denmark and Germany.

Biosearch is accredited to quality standards ISO 9001:2008 and 13485:2003, and GMP manufacturing for diagnostic products. Biosearch’s IP portfolio is a particular strength of the company: its patent portfolio includes 63 issued and pending patents in 18 countries covering 14 patent families. The company employs over 170 employees, in the US, Denmark and Germany.