Procognia Ltd Acquires Sense Proteomic
30th January 2003
Acquisition expands Procognia's suite of enabling technologies.
Procognia Ltd Acquires Sense Proteomic
Procognia Ltd announced that it has acquired Sense Proteomic Ltd, to advance its mission to create a suite of technological solutions for needs arising in drug discovery, development and manufacture. In conjunction with the acquisition the Company closed another round of finance for $4 million from existing shareholders, Apax Partners, Evergreen Partners and Vitalife, bringing to $18.3 million the funds raised by Procognia since its inception in April 2002.
Commenting on the acquisition, Ron Long, CEO of Procognia said: “We are pleased with this opportunity to integrate two such complementary technologies and to merge the talents of the two excellent teams that created the technologies. This acquisition will allow us to more rapidly exploit the commercial value of both technologies. It is a tremendous advantage for Procognia”.
Procognia has developed integrated, rapid glycoanalysis technologies to increase the probability of success of biopharmaceutical products. The glycosylation on biopharmaceutical products is one of the most difficult manufacturing processes to control. Analysis of the glycosylation pattern is usually a lengthy process requiring several highly trained scientists. Procognia technology is an automated process that can perform glycoanalysis in a few hours. The ability to perform ‘real time’ analysis of glycosylation patterns during clone selection and optimization, process development, manufacture and QC have the potential to greatly improve both the number and quality of biologic drugs.
Sense’s technology complements and will expand Procognia’s technology suite by adding functional protein array capability. This technology integrates the cloning, expression and protein capture/purification of only the functionally folded proteins in arrays of numerous formats that include mass spectrometry and fluorescence. The capture process assures the uniform orientation, accessibility and density of the spotted proteins. These arrays are the highest density of proteins and the greatest sensitivity of detection that can be analyzed by mass spec. Because the arrays can be prepared from almost any family of proteins, the technology significantly expands the primary and secondary screening of both biologic and small molecules for therapeutic benefit, toxicity and diagnostics.
These two protein array-based technologies can improve every step in the process of drug discovery, development and manufacture. Most pharmaceutical and biotech companies have a need for both glycoanalysis and functional protein arrays for screening. Therefore, Procognia’s customers span the pharmaceutical industry.
Following the acquisition, the scientific founder of Sense Proteomic, Dr. Jonathan Blackburn, will become Procognia’s Chief Scientist and will join Ron Long, Johanna Griffin, Yeshayahu Yakir and Chris Lyddon as member of the company’s executive team. Former Sense employees will be integrated into the Procognia team and will share in the continued development of the integrated technologies of both entities. The former Sense group will remain at the Babraham, UK facilities for at least the next 6 months.
Commenting on the opportunities that the acquisition presents Dr. Blackburn, said: “As the former Deputy Chairman of Amersham plc and CEO of Amersham Biosciences, Mr. Long has a history of integrating and commercializing enabling technologies. Under his leadership we are excited at the prospect of realizing the commercial value of the technology that we have created at Sense to date and of that which we expect to create together in the future”.
Amos Goren, Director of Apax Partners added, “Procognia’s strong and experienced team and breakthrough technologies offer multiple opportunities in biopharmaceutical drug discovery, development and manufacturing. Apax Partners is delighted to extend its investment in Procognia particularly given the additional potential that the Sense acquisition brings. Our investment in Procognia exemplifies our strategy of creating and building leading biotechnology companies that are targeting solutions to the important challenges of the industry.”
Following the acquisition and recent expansion Procognia now has 60 employees. Corporate headquarters and manufacturing will be located in facilities in the United Kingdom. Commercial operations and customer support will operate from Maidenhead, United Kingdom and Philadelphia, PA, United States. R&D will be performed in the Israel and United Kingdom.Press release sign up