Charles River Laboratories International has agreed to buy Vigene Biosciences, a contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) focused on gene therapies, for about $292.5m in cash.
The agreement also covers additional payments of up to $57.5m contingent on future performance.
Charles River expects the deal to boost its gene therapy capabilities for viral vectors and plasmid DNA. Vigene works mainly on viral vector production, which is used for gene therapies and gene-modified cell therapies.
Vigene also manufactures adeno-associated virus (AAV), a common delivery solution for gene therapies and other key viral vectors, including lentivirus.
The company also provides research-grade plasmid DNA, which is used to design viral vectors for producing gene-modified cell therapies, gene therapies and vaccines.
Furthermore, Vigene will compliment Charles River’s non-clinical development and manufacturing capabilities, as well as offer clients with access to a wide-ranging cell and gene therapy solution.
The acquisition will also expand Charles River’s current gene therapy CDMO capabilities in the UK and Sweden obtained via Cognate BioServices acquisition in March this year.
Additionally, Vigene will support Charles River’s cell therapy production capabilities in the US.
Charles River Laboratories chairman, president and CEO James Foster said: “The addition of Vigene Biosciences’ extensive gene therapy expertise will enable us to expand our comprehensive cell and gene therapy portfolio to span each of the major CDMO platforms – cell therapy, viral vector, and plasmid DNA production.
“Our goal is to become our clients’ scientific partner of choice for advanced drug modalities from discovery and non-clinical development to CGMP manufacturing.”
Charles River estimates Vigene will generate annual revenue of $30m to $35m this year and grow at least 25% per year over the coming five years.
The acquisition is set to conclude in the third quarter of this year after meeting regulatory requirements and customary closing conditions.