Canopy Biosciences Expands into ‘Multi-Omics’ Company with Zellkraftwerk Acquisition

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Canopy Biosciences has acquired Zellkraftwerk for an undisclosed price, in a deal designed to expand the buyer into a “multi-omics” company offering genomics expertise with cell and tissue analysis solutions. Zellkraftwerk manufactures ZellScanner ONE, which according to the company is the first device able to analyze more than 100 markers per cell based on its ChipCytometry technology. [Zellkraftwerk]

Canopy Biosciences, a provider of gene editing and gene expression products and services, has acquired Zellkraftwerk for an undisclosed price, in a deal designed to expand the buyer into a “multi-omics” company offering genomics expertise with cell and tissue analysis solutions.

By expanding its gene editing and genomics analysis portfolio by combining it with Zellkraftwerk’s multiplex cytometry technology, Canopy reasons, it can deliver an expanded multi-omics approach that will better support customers in drug development research and biomarker discovery.

Headquartered in Leipzig, Germany, Zellkraftwerk offers products and research services designed for high-content cytometry on cells and tissues. Zellkraftwerk works closely with researchers of top-tier diagnostics developers, biopharmas, and academic institutions focused on preclinical and clinical research, with the goal of enhancing their capabilities in sample preparation, biobanking, multiplexed protein and biomarker analysis, and data mining.

“Zellkraftwerk founders Jan Detmers and Christian Hennig have built a truly differentiated offering within the cell and tissue analysis market, and we’re excited to add their unique expertise and technology platform to Canopy Biosciences,” Canopy co-founder and CEO Edward Weinstein, PhD, said in a statement.

Zellkraftwerk manufactures ZellScanner ONE, which according to the company is the first device able to analyze more than 100 markers per cell based on its ChipCytometry technology. The device is designed to allow for deep insights into formerly unknown cell subpopulations and their state of activation, while its microfluidic chips can be additionally used for sample storage that guarantee biomarker stability for up to 24 months.

“As the scientific community continues to appreciate the roles and relationships between genotypes, phenotypes, and the environment, the need for ‘multi-omic’ approaches to biomarker discovery and functional biology research has never been clearer,” Detmers stated.

Based in St. Louis, Canopy has developed a platform of products and services designed to facilitate gene editing, gene expression analysis and regulation, and bioprocessing. Canopy’s gene editing portfolio encompasses CRISPR kits designed for easy use, off-the-shelf cell lines, as well as full service custom cell line engineering.

Sequencing Service Launched

On March 29 during the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2019, held March 29-April 3 in Atlanta, Canopy launched RareSeq, a new error corrected sequencing service developed to vastly increase the sensitivity of genetic testing over traditional methods.

The technology, exclusively licensed from Washington University in St. Louis and developed by Todd Druley, MD, PhD, and Andrew Young, MD, PhD, is designed to removes the errors generated in traditional next generation sequencing (NGS) to unveil rare mutations previously indistinguishable from background noise.

With the introduction of RareSeq, Canopy has added ultrasensitive DNA sequencing to a multi-omics platform that includes RNAseq, NanoString gene expression analysis, and multiplexed protein detection.

Concurrent with its acquisition of Zellkraftwerk, Canopy said it has closed a strategic growth investment from Ampersand Capital Partners, a middle market private equity firm with offices in Boston and Amsterdam. The value of that investment was also not disclosed.

“Ampersand’s expertise and resources will benefit Canopy as we build a broader product and service offering for our customers, and the Zellkraftwerk acquisition provides a meaningful contribution to this strategy,” Weinstein said.

Added Detmers: “We are excited to partner with Canopy Biosciences and Ampersand to enhance our capabilities, scale, and geographic reach in the US, Europe, and Asia as we strive to best serve the evolving needs of our customers.”

Canopy was established in 2016 by BioGenerator, the funding arm of the BioSTL Coalition in St. Louis. BioGenerator was established in 2003 to launch new companies by working closely with universities, scientists, entrepreneurs, and investors.

To date, the BioGenerator has created more than 40 new seed and pre-seed stage start-ups, investing more than $5 million in these companies and leveraging $140 million in additional private co-investment.

The BioSTL coalition was formed in 2001 as the Coalition for Plant and Life Sciences by St. Louis’ major regional business organizations, and has been led since its inception by William H. Danforth, MD, chancellor emeritus of Washington University in St. Louis and founding chairman of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. The coalition was renamed in 2011.

 

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