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30 January, 2020 - 13:58 By Kate Sweeney

Abcam buys cell lines technology from Californian innovator

Cambridge-based Abcam plc has bought the gene editing platform and oncology product portfolio of California company Applied StemCell, Inc (ASC) for life science research and diagnostic markets. No figures have been released for the deal.

ASC is a long-established leader in the edited cell lines market, focused on developing genome editing technologies into novel therapeutics to advance drug discovery.

Over the last 11 years it has established a global reputation for solving the most difficult knock-out and knock-in cell line development challenges. 

ASC has successfully deployed its proprietary cell editing platform to create cell lines for a broad range of diseases to support the life science and diagnostics industries as well as to advance therapeutic drug discovery.

The transaction includes a portfolio of cell lines and the well-regarded AccuRef reference materials product line. The AccuRef product line uses ASC gene edited cell lines to mimic cancer mutations and create biologically-relevant quality control and reference standards that span over 40 cancer genes. 

These materials are used by laboratories and kit providers for next generation sequencing, Sanger sequencing, PCR, and FISH/CISH testing. 

Cheri Walker, SVP of Corporate Development at Abcam, said: “We are excited to expand and cement Abcam’s position in the edited cell line market, bringing in one of the most widely deployed and technically successful cell engineering platforms into the Abcam family. 

“The cell line market is in the early stages of development as a research tool, where the ready provision of more choice, with the right gene targets in the right cell lines, will allow the market to rapidly expand.”

Abcam will expand the ASC platform to become its discovery engine for developing novel edited cell lines, building upon the extensive range of knock-out cell lines acquired through the Edigene transaction in 2019. 

Ready-made KO cell lines play a significant role in the study and understanding of biological pathways and disease models.

Ruby Tsai, co-founder and CSO of Applied StemCell, commented: “Following our strategic decision to focus on stem cell and derivative service and products for both research and therapeutic applications, we are pleased to be transitioning our oncology focused services and products to the global team at Abcam. 

“As recognised industry leader in the provision of biologic reagents and tools, Abcam is ideally placed to provide expert support to our global user- base.”

The portfolio and cell engineering capability will be deployed to further support Abcam’s knock-out validation capability, an integral part of the organisation’s ongoing antibody quality initiative.

As a global life sciences company, Abcam identifies, develops, and distributes high-quality biological reagents and tools that are crucial to research, drug discovery and diagnostics. 

Abcam partners with life science organisations to co-create novel binders for use in drug discovery, in vitro diagnostics and therapeutics, driven by the Company's proprietary discovery platforms and world-leading, antibody expertise.

With 11 sites globally, many of Abcam's 1,100 strong team are located in the world's leading life science research hubs, including Cambridge Biomedical Campus in the UK, complementing a global network of services and support.

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