Agilent Technologies has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Seahorse Bioscience, a manufacturer of instruments and assay kits for measuring cell metabolism and bioenergetics, for $235m.

Headquartered in Billerica, Massachusetts, US, Seahorse Bioscience develops analysers that provide researchers with a better understanding of cell health, function, signalling, and how the cell may be affected by the introduction of a specific drug, by offering real-time kinetics to unlock essential cellular bioenergetics data.

In particular, XF technology is being used to research the role of cell metabolism in neurodegeneration, ageing, cancer, cardiovascular disease, cell physiology, toxicology, hepatobiology, immunology, infectious diseases, mitochondrial diseases, model organisms, obesity, diabetes, metabolic disorders, as well as screening and translational medicine.

“The combination of these two platforms gives scientists a more comprehensive and faster path to researching the most challenging diseases affecting mankind.”

Agilent Life Sciences and Applied Markets Group president Patrick Kaltenbach said: “Seahorse Bioscience’s unique technology is the perfect complement to Agilent’s market-leading separations and mass spectrometry solutions, in particular for metabolomics research and disease research in pharma.

“The combination of these two platforms gives scientists a more comprehensive and faster path to researching the most challenging diseases affecting mankind.”

XF analysers are designed to measure oxygen consumption rate (OCR) and extracellular acidification rate (ECAR) at intervals of nearly five to eight minutes.

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OCR is said to be an indicator of mitochondrial respiration, while ECAR is primarily the result of glycolysis.

While Seahorse Bioscience’s manufacturing operations are located in Chicopee, Massachusetts, the company also maintains regional offices in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Shanghai, China.

Founded in 2001, the company employs 200 people, majority of whom are expected to join Agilent.

Seahorse Bioscience CEO Jay Teich said: “Joining Agilent, a premier, customer-focused supplier of technology to a much broader market, will give many more researchers access to Seahorse tools.

“And when these two technology rich companies combine, we expect to offer a series of new products and applications that will benefit our customers.”

Subject to local laws, regulations and customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to be completed by November this year.