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Abcam’s $340m acquisition of BioVision scales up US growth

Abcam’s CEO Alan Hirzel has paid tribute to BioVision’s “terrific knowhow and experience” following the $340m acquisition of the California-based life sciences innovator.

Alan Hirzel, CEO at Abcam
Alan Hirzel, CEO at Abcam

The addition of BioVision enhances Abcam’s in-house innovation and adds scale to support the biochemical assay and cellular assay markets. The acquisition brings BioVision’s product portfolio, capabilities, and 70-strong expert development and manufacturing teams into Abcam.

The purchase comes at the same time as a significant expansion of Abcam’s facility in Eugene, Oregon, accelerating the execution of its strategic growth plan by doubling the footprint of its immunoassay kit R&D and manufacturing facility.

Speaking of Abcam’s growth journey in the US, CEO Alan Hirzel said: “We are delighted to welcome our new colleagues to Abcam.

“Providing a platform for future growth and addition of new product lines, the acquisition of BioVision and expansion of our Eugene facility reinforce our commitment to the acceleration of scientific breakthroughs. Enabling scientists to reproducibly generate the robust results they need, faster, is essential for the delivery of new innovations that can positively impact us all.”

BioVision is based in Milpitas, California
BioVision is based in Milpitas, California

BioVision was founded in 1996 to provide innovative and high-quality products and research tools to accelerate drug discovery. Based in Milpitas, the company “has been one of Abcam’s largest suppliers since 2003”, said Mr Hirzel.

He told the Cambridge Independent: “Over the coming weeks we will be planning our integration. In the short term, BioVision will adopt the ‘an Abcam company’ strapline in most of its material. Everything else is business as usual.

“The BioVision team have terrific knowhow and experience in the development and manufacturing of biochemical and cell-based assays, and will enhance our expertise and innovation in this area. Combining these new capabilities with our existing in-house expertise in antibodies and proteins, conjugation, cellular engineering, and proteomic assays will allow us to provide customers with an ever-broader life science toolkit to enable efficient workflows and robust, reproducible data generation.

“Our top priority in the immediate term is business continuity for BioVision and its customers. Customers who currently buy from BioVision direct should continue as normal and can expect the high levels of customer service and support that they are used to.

Abcam’s new headquarters on Cambridge Biomedical Campus
Abcam’s new headquarters on Cambridge Biomedical Campus

“In the next few weeks, we will be reviewing our commercial approach for the BioVision product portfolio, and how we best make use of Abcam’s global reach to bring BioVision’s portfolio to the broadest possible audience.”

Since inception in 1998, Abcam has grown rapidly; from selling antibodies “out of an ice-bucket” to delivering to 130 countries, with 1,500 employees, 200 in-house PhDs and 100,000 highly validated products on offer. The business reported revenues of £298m (12 months to June 30, 2021) and in 2019 laid out an ambitious growth strategy with a goal of achieving £450m in revenue by 2024. Abcam’s purpose-built global HQ at the Cambridge biomedical campus opened in 2019.

“Our expanded facility in Eugene, Oregon, doubles our square footage in that location to approximately 30,000 sq ft,” notes Mr Hirzel. “The site will house approximately 100 staff in the immediate term, with room for additional expansion.

“The expanded capacity in Eugene is part of Abcam’s strategic growth plan in the US, and follows the opening of its new US facility in Boston, MA in June this year and Abcam’s listing on NASDAQ in October 2020.”

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