Stemgent completes acquisition of Asterand’s human tissue business

Wednesday, August 1, 2012 11:03 AM

Stemgent, a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of proprietary tools and services focused on the application of human cells, has completed the acquisition of Asterand’s human tissue business for $9 million.

Asterand provides a set of high quality, human-tissue based tools for drug and drug target discovery that is complementary to Stemgent’s growing portfolio of research products and services to advance cellular reprogramming and stem cell research.

“The Asterand acquisition is an important step in our efforts to build a significant research tools business focused on human cells,” said Ian Ratcliffe, president and CEO of Stemgent. “Asterand’s offerings, supply chain and customer base among pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostic companies, along with Stemgent’s position in the academic research market and expertise developing stem cell research products, present multiple opportunities for growth.”

Asterand’s human tissue business includes the XpressBANK biobank and related services and PhaseZERO human tissue-based drug discovery research services. The biobank contains several hundred thousand consented, well characterized human tissue specimens that are linked to clinical information across a range of therapeutic areas. The unit also provides custom services such as isolation of specific cell lines and primary cells, tissue microarrays and biofluids, including blood serum and plasma. The PhaseZERO platform capitalizes on the biobank and includes human gene expression profiling in diseased and non-diseased tissue; human protein expression profiling; and human tissue-based primary cell assays for metabolism and toxicity analysis.

The human tissue and services operations will continue under the Asterand name. The combined organizations will have 100 employees with operations in the U.S. and U.K. Stemgent plans to retain Asterand’s operations in Detroit, Mich., and Royston, U.K.

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