Three impactful life science acquisitions and buyouts in 2021


Min Read

In this blog:

  • We discuss three interesting acquisitions/deals from 2021
  • How have they set up future impact in the sector?
  • Remember to nominate in the 2022 CiteAb Awards ‘Acquisition of the Year’ category

Today, we are excited to discuss three significant acquisitions/deals in the life science sector from the past year. 

We are always interested to see how CiteAb citation data can provide insights into global research reagent markets. In this blog we examine a small selection of deals/acquisitions from this year, and take a look at what our data can tell us about these deals. 

This is by no means an exhaustive list – there have been multiple million and billion-dollar deals, investments and acquisitions globally over the past year, demonstrating the growing and dynamic nature of the industry. We would love to hear from you about any that have flagged your interest – you can let us know by nominating in the brand new category ‘Acquisition of the Year’ in the 2022 CiteAb Awards.

1: Abcam (NASDAQ:ABCM) and BioVision

To expand into new “capacities and capabilities”, specifically focusing on kits.

Companies Perspective: 

Press release: 

This $340 million acquisition, completed on the 27th October 2021, added scale to Abcam’s kits offering and strategically furthered their in-house innovation. 

Abcam have distributed BioVision products since 2003. Year on year, there has been growing demand for these products. This demand has only increased since the pandemic began, with the need for reliable assays and kits which accelerate the pace of research becoming more acute. 

BioVision offers >8,000 products, with their strength lying in  biochemical and cell-based assay kits. This acquisition aimed to both expand Abcam’s product portfolio and increase the reach of BioVision’s products, creating impact in the sector by helping more researchers access these products.

Our data:

CiteAb data shows Abcam is a major player in the reagent space, impressively growing share in multiple reagent markets. They feature prominently in the top 100 kits product list, were one of the top 3 suppliers featuring in the top 100 antibodies list and are gaining citation share across both the protein and biochemicals market.

By providing support and certainty with an expanded kits offering, our data would suggest that this acquisition will further support their growth. 

2: Perkin Elmer (NYSE:PKI) and Biolegend

To expand into new, high growth areas by complementation of product offerings.

Companies Perspective:

Press release: 

PerkinElmer’s $5.25 billion dollar acquisition of BioLegend is their largest acquisition to date. Significantly, BioLegends’ product offering differs from Perkin Elmer’s existing portfolio.

By leveraging BioLegend’s specialism in antibodies, this acquisition aimed to facilitate expansion into high growth areas such as proteogenomics and bioprocessing. Impact will be set up by growth in these new directions. 

Our data:

Overall, we have noted unique and impressive growth from BioLegend in the antibody market. They have exhibited growth since 2016 in the primary and secondary antibody market, moving from 10th position to a notable 6th in 2020.

Looking back on our blog, we have commented on BioLegend’s strong position in the multiplex immunoassay market in 2020, and PerkinElmer’s rise in the stable isotopically labelled biochemicals market

BioLegend market citation share for antibodies from 2010-2020
Antibody citation share

Given the sustained success of BioLegend, we are excited to see if this acquisition provides growth to its new parent company. 

 3: Vector Laboratories and Mavarai Life Science (NASDAQ:MRVI)

To meet the growing demand in the protein detection market and enable a company-wide focus on innovation.

Companies Perspective: 

Press release: 

On the 7th September 2021 Vector Laboratories completed a cash buyout from Mavarai LifeSciences for $124 million, backed by Thompson Street Capital Partners.

Vector Laboratories specialise in labelling and detection reagents for immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, glycobiology and bioconjugation. Making their mark as the very first company to commercialise avidin-biotin enzyme complex kits, they have since gone on to produce hundreds of kits and reagents. 

Through completing this buyout and becoming a private company, Vector Laboratories aimed to gain the ability to react quickly to the growing protein detection market and set up future impact by innovating flexibly in this direction. Strategically, the buyout should give them all the benefits of a ‘well funded start-up’, coupled with the security of a market-tested product portfolio. 

Our data:

Looking back at our data on Vector Laboratories, we found that they fared well in our top 100 product lists. Of note, they emerged into our top 100 lists for protein products and kits & assays (at a particularly impressive fourth position). Furthermore, they rank fourth in the biochemicals supplier share dataset in 2020. We observed that they have maintained a stable and strong share in the protein market, and a slightly decreasing citation share in the research antibody market.

Taking this data as a whole would suggest they are in a strong position to become a private company. If this deal enables an innovative and agile focus as intended, this will likely serve them well given the growing demand in markets within which they operate.

We want to hear from you!

The three deals/acquisitions discussed today represent a small selection of all the exciting activity in this sector. 

Have you come across any particularly exciting deals in the past year? Has your company been involved in one? Don’t forget to nominate what you consider to be the Acquisition of the Year by heading over to our awards website now! 

  • Skye and the CiteAb team

Further References:

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