Abcam expands cell engineering capabilities with Applied StemCell acquisition

The reagents and tools specialist has acquired the gene-editing platform and oncology product portfolio of Applied StemCell

Cheri Walker
SVP of Corporate Development, Abcam

Abcam has announced the asset purchase of the gene-editing platform and oncology product portfolio of Applied StemCell, Inc. (ASC) for life science research and diagnostic markets.

ASC is a long-established company in the edited cell lines market, focused on developing genome editing technologies into novel therapeutics to advance drug discovery.

Over the last 11 years, ASC has built a global reputation for solving the most difficult knock-out and knock-in cell line development challenges. Abcam said the company has successfully deployed its proprietary cell editing platform to create cell lines for a broad range of diseases to support the life science and diagnostics industries as well as to advance therapeutic drug discovery.

Next-generation sequencing

The transaction includes a portfolio of cell lines and the AccuRef reference materials product line.

The AccuRef product line uses ASC gene-edited cell lines to mimic cancer mutations and create biologically-relevant quality control and reference standards that span over 40 cancer genes. These materials are used by laboratories and kit providers for next-generation sequencing, Sanger sequencing, PCR, and FISH/CISH testing.

Commenting on the transaction, Cheri Walker, SVP of Corporate Development at Abcam, said: “We are excited to expand and cement Abcam’s position in the edited cell line market, bringing in one of the most widely deployed and technically successful cell engineering platforms into the Abcam family.”

Walker pointed out that the cell line market is in the early stages of development as a research tool. “The ready provision of more choice, with the right gene targets in the right cell lines, will allow the market to expand rapidly,” he said.

Ready-made KO cell lines

Abcam plans to expand the ASC platform to become its discovery engine for developing novel edited cell lines, building upon the extensive range of knock-out cell lines acquired through the Edigene transaction in 2019.

Ready-made KO cell lines play a significant role in the study and understanding of biological pathways and disease models.

Ruby Tsai, Co-Founder and CSO of Applied StemCell, commented: “Following our strategic decision to focus on stem cell and derivative service and products for both research and therapeutic applications, we are pleased to be transitioning our oncology-focused services and products to the global team at Abcam. As recognised industry leaders in the provision of biologic reagents and tools, Abcam is ideally placed to provide expert support to our global user-base.”

The transaction closed on January 28, 2020. During the transition period, both parties will work together to ensure continuity of service and project delivery.

In addition, this exciting portfolio and cell engineering capability will be deployed to further support Abcam’s knock-out validation initiative, an integral part of the organisation’s ongoing antibody quality initiative.

Companies