2020-11-02| M&A

Why is PerkinElmer Buying Horizon Discovery?

by Ruchi Jhonsa
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PerkinElmer adds another feather to its life science services crown. In its latest deal, PerkinElmer will acquire a UK-based cell engineering specialist, Horizon Discovery, for $383 million in an all-cash deal intended to expand its life science portfolio with CRISPR and gene editing offerings.

PerkinElmer is known for serving unique solutions to its customers in the diagnostic, life sciences, food, and applied markets. Its applied genomics solutions division offers a wide range of platforms where scientists can easily perform immunoassays, high content imaging screenings, and in vivo imaging with high precision and speed with the company’s automated devices.


Entry into Gene Editing

PerkinElmer will now be able to provide gene editing and gene modulation services to academic and pharma/biopharma scientists with the acquisition. This will be made possible with Horizon’s portfolio of tools and services built on decades of experience in altering the expression of genes across mammalian and human cell types.

Perkin will also acquire Horizon’s newly introduced CRISPR-based cell screening service coupled with single-cell RNA sequencing as well as its battery of new cell lines that express Cas9 at stable levels for gene knockout and activation experiments. Moreover, the acquisition would also combine complementary offerings of the pair across genotypic and phenotypic approaches for drug discovery and development, which will help scientists gain better information and greater quality data with automated workflows.

“One of the key fundamentals for molecular research and drug discovery is being able to knock down a gene or function and explore the results to discover actionable insights and new clinical trial candidates faster,” commented Prahlad Singh, CEO, and President of PerkinElmer.

“We’re excited to team up with Horizon to not only add CRISPR and RNAi capabilities into our existing portfolio but also to leverage our combined life sciences screening and applied genomics solutions to help propel the next phase of cell and gene research for precision medicine. PerkinElmer leads with science and creates total solutions to bring today’s leading innovations together for our customers, while also working at the cutting edge of what’s next. Today’s announcement delivers on both of these fronts.”


Growing Gene Editing Markets

In the last few years, the gene-editing or genome engineering market has climbed rapidly, and it is expected to continue climbing at a rate of 17% between 2020 and 2027. In 2019, the gene-editing market generated revenue worth $4.4 billion, which is expected to go up to $15.30 billion in the next seven years.

This is in concurrence with the rapid adoption of the technology, enormous funding by the federal agencies, and an increasing number of genomics projects run by various academic and industrial establishments. Currently, Precision Biosciences, Eurofins Scientific, CRISPR Therapeutics, Editas Medicine, Lonza Group, Sangamo Therapeutics, GenScript Corp., Horizon Discovery, Merck and Co., and ThermoFisher Scientific are the major contenders in this market. With the acquisition of Horizon Discovery Group, PerkinElmer will also join the race of elites, which is expected to give huge returns in the future.

Besides assets, Perkin also benefits from Horizon’s two decades of experience in the field. Horizon Discovery started in 2007 and evolved rapidly as a top provider of CRISPR and RNAi reagents, cell models, cell engineering, and base editing tools-all of which are important for understanding gene function, genetic diseases, and biotherapeutics delivery. The company reported revenue of $75.5 million from its operations last year- up 11.8% from 2018. Since 2007, the company has expanded globally and has established numerous relations with various academic and non-academic institutions.

It has offices in the UK, Europe, and the US, which gives Perkin a huge customer base of academic institutes, global pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology companies in these regions. Moreover, Horizon also has headquarters in Japan, whose government has launched several initiatives, including Tohoku Medical Megabank Project, in 2017 to offer adequate genome research infrastructure. This is expected to boost genomic research in the country, which will now be catered by PerkinElmer.

Editor: Rajaneesh K. Gopinath, Ph.D.

Related Article: Why is Bristol Myers Squibb Investing $13.1 Billion in MyoKardia?

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