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Molecular Devices buys LCM business from Arcturus
May 2006
by Jeffrey Bouley  |  Email the author


SUNNYVALE, Calif.—Molecular Devices Corp. recently acquired the laser capture microdissection (LCM)-related business of Arcturus Bioscience for $10 million in cash, a strategic acquisition that expands Molecular Devices' life sciences product portfolio to include complete systems and reagents for LCM.
The combination of LCM products with Molecular Devices' current detection offerings, such as GenePix, broadens the company's life sciences product portfolio. But more specifically, it gives Molecular the ability to provide "complete" microgenomics platforms for genomic and protein analyses, according to Dr. Joseph Keegan, Molecular Devices' president and CEO.
Keegan expects this expanded product offering to be a boon to drug discovery researchers in several areas, including target identification, primary and secondary screening, validation and lead optimization—as well as being useful in clinical efforts thereafter.
Under the terms of the transaction, Molecular Devices not only purchased the LCM-related assets of Arcturus Bioscience but also hired 42 former Arcturus employees that were associated with the LCM business. All of the LCM operations and employees have moved to Molecular Devices headquarters here. Molecular Devices did not obtain any Arcturus facilities in connection with this transaction.
For the rest of 2006, Molecular Devices anticipates that this acquisition will increase revenues by $8 million to $10 million.
"This strategic acquisition allows us to continue to expand our life sciences portfolio by adding additional enabling tools for cellular analysis," Keegan says. "We believe that offering LCM systems with our existing genomics and cellular imaging products is a natural fit for our life sciences research customers as LCM is typically an upstream step for genomic or imaging analysis."
He also asserts that Molecular will be able to improve the distribution of the former Arcturus LCM platform by leveraging the company's existing worldwide distribution infrastructure.
"Molecular Devices already has significant punch in terms of distribution into the life sciences research marketplace," Keegan notes. "But in particular, we are well-placed in pharmaceutical and biotech. For Arcturus, the door wasn't always readily open, whereas this market is our bread and butter. We expect to see synergies in terms of us taking people up the learning curve for LCM and leveraging our worldwide selling power."
This selling power includes not only teams in North America, Keegan says, but also such key points on the globe as Great Britain, Germany, China, Japan and Australia. He also notes that plans call for a sales office in Bangalore, India, or somewhere near that city.
Reportedly, there will be no changes in the Arcturus LCM Products, technical support or service offerings at this time, and Molecular Devices will maintain the LCM Products under the Arcturus brand for the time being.
The LCM platform includes reagents for preparing the samples for microdissection, instrumentation and consumables for visualization and excision and additional reagents for post-capture processing.  
Code: E050611



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