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Ampersand Capital: Protagen Protein Services merges with GeneWerk

Photo: Thomas Klack, Mana­ging Part­ner at Acxit in Frankfurt
8. July 2021

Heil­bronn, Heidelberg/Boston — Prota­gen Protein Services (PPS) today announ­ced that it will merge with Gene­Werk, an Amper­sand port­fo­lio company. With the addi­tion of GeneWerk’s unique capa­bi­li­ties in vector safety, charac­te­riz­a­tion, and func­tio­n­a­lity analy­sis, PPS will comple­ment its current analy­ti­cal testing offe­ring in protein charac­te­riz­a­tion iden­tity, purity, potency and capsid loading to become a full-service part­ner in gene therapy testing for the biophar­maceu­ti­cal indus­try. — ACXIT Capi­tal Part­ners advi­sed the majo­rity share­hol­der of Prota­gen Protein Services on the merger with GeneWerk

The merger crea­tes a leading part­ner for the world­wide biophar­maceu­ti­cal indus­try to bene­fit from the most advan­ced, inte­gra­ted set of analy­ti­cal services capa­bi­li­ties in biolo­gic deve­lo­p­ment, espe­cially in gene and cell therapy-rela­­ted testing, from early deve­lo­p­ment through drug appro­val to commer­cia­liz­a­tion. The combi­ned orga­niz­a­tion will have more than 175 employees across four sites in Europe and North America.

“The combi­na­tion of Prota­gen Protein Services (PPS) and Gene­Werk will estab­lish a leading, analy­ti­cal CRO serving the most thri­ving and inno­va­tive thera­peu­tic segments within the global biophar­maceu­ti­cal indus­try. We are exci­ted to join forces with the Gene­Werk team, who have estab­lis­hed unique, world­wide excel­lence in cell and gene therapy and helped to estab­lish the indus­try stan­dard of inte­gra­tion site analy­sis for all vector deli­very systems,” outlined Martin Blüg­gel, CEO Prota­gen Protein Services GmbH.

“We are impres­sed by PPS’ scien­ti­fic back­ground and are eager to join with our scien­ti­fic excel­lence. By inte­gra­ting our analy­tic plat­forms, programs and exper­tise with PPS, we look forward to working closely with premier biophar­maceu­ti­cal compa­nies to design, gene­rate and deli­ver inte­gra­ted, best-in-class analy­ti­cal data packa­ges and stra­te­gic support along the full deve­lo­p­ment spec­trum from deve­lo­pa­bi­lity, lead opti­miz­a­tion, clone selec­tion and process deve­lo­p­ment to vector safety, gene edit­ing targets, sequence analy­sis and gene expres­sion,” commen­ted Dr. Manfred Schmidt, Mana­ging Direc­tor and Co-Foun­­­der of Gene­Werk GmbH.

As part of today’s announ­ce­ment, PPS noted that it plans to signi­fi­cantly expand the labo­ra­tory capa­bi­li­ties of its US subsi­diary BioAna­ly­tix to include GeneWerk’s tech­no­logy plat­forms and analy­ti­cal capa­bi­li­ties in order to better serve clients loca­ted in the Boston area biotech­no­logy hub and else­where in North America. Such service capa­bi­li­ties will include the deter­mi­na­tion of fusion sequen­ces adja­cent to known DNA or RNA frag­ments in mini­mal tissue samples down to the single cell level.

To support the inte­gra­tion and future growth of the combi­ned busi­ness, PPS also announ­ced that Amper­sand Capi­tal Part­ners has acqui­red a majo­rity owners­hip stake in PPS from Zukunfts­fonds Heil­bronn, PPS’s initial private equity investor.
Marina Pellon-Cons­unji, Part­ner at Amper­sand Capi­tal Part­nersstated: “We have been looking for the right oppor­tu­nity to expand the capa­bi­li­ties of our port­fo­lio company Gene­Werk. We are proud to part­ner with the PPS team and look forward to helping further build a leading provi­der of inno­va­tive, scien­­ti­­fi­­cally-diffe­­ren­­tia­­ted testing and analy­ti­cal services for large mole­cule thera­peu­tics, parti­cu­larly in the rapidly-growing cell and gene therapy industry.”

About Prota­gen Protein Services GmbH (PPS)

Prota­gen Protein Services (PPS) is a world leading CRO and reco­gni­zed expert in analy­ti­cal services in protein science and gene therapy products. Over 20 years of market expe­ri­ence and the compre­hen­sive spec­trum of vali­da­ted analy­ti­cal methods ensure the highest quality for custo­mers in the phar­maceu­ti­cal, biotech and life science indus­try. The company is an excel­lent part­ner for the biophar­maceu­ti­cal indus­try world­wide to bene­fit from the most advan­ced, inte­gra­ted and complete analy­tic services capa­bi­li­ties and plat­forms in biophar­maceu­ti­cal deve­lo­p­ment, from clone selec­tion through drug appro­val to commer­cia­liz­a­tion. In working toge­ther with their phar­maceu­ti­cal part­ners, the PPS teams gene­rate best-in-class analy­tic data packa­ges and provide scien­ti­fic, tech­ni­cal and regu­la­tory support to advance, de-risk and acce­le­rate all stages of biophar­maceu­ti­cal deve­lo­p­ment by all-in-one-hand service with complete docu­men­ta­tion and outstan­ding project manage­ment to gain market success. www.protagenproteinservices.com

About Gene­Werk GmbH

Foun­ded in 2014 by Prof. Dr. Chris­tof von Kalle, Dr. Manfred Schmidt, and Dr. Annette Deich­mann with the parti­ci­pa­tion of the German Cancer Rese­arch Center (DKFZ) Heidel­berg, Gene­Werk is a cell and gene therapy testing labo­ra­tory focu­sed on provi­ding precli­ni­cal and clini­cal trial pati­ent sample analy­sis services. The company is reco­gni­zed as a leading provi­der of vector inte­gra­tion site analy­sis (ISA) services, a method that was deve­lo­ped by the company’s foun­ders and that the FDA and EMA recom­mend performing after the admi­nis­tra­tion of both inte­gra­ting and non-inte­­gra­­ting cell and gene thera­pies. www.genewerk.com

About Amper­sand Capi­tal Partners

Foun­ded in 1988, Amper­sand is a middle market private equity firm with more than USD 2bn of assets under manage­ment dedi­ca­ted to growth-orien­­ted invest­ments in the health­care sector. With offices in Boston and Amster­dam, Amper­sand lever­a­ges its unique blend of private equity and opera­ting expe­ri­ence to build value and drive supe­rior long-term perfor­mance along­side its port­fo­lio company manage­ment teams. Amper­sand has helped build nume­rous market-leading compa­nies across each of the firm’s core health­care sectors. Addi­tio­nal infor­ma­tion about Amper­sand is avail­able at www.ampersandcapital.com.

About zfhn Future Fund Heilbronn

Since its foun­da­tion in 2005, the zfhn Zukunfts­fonds Heil­bronn has been one of the major venture capi­tal provi­ders in Germany. It prima­rily supports young, inno­va­tive tech­no­logy compa­nies that are loca­ted in the Heil­bronn area or are prepa­red to settle there in the short to medium term. The zfhn is priva­tely finan­ced and endo­wed with equity capi­tal in the three-digit million range. It supports compa­nies with capi­tal, know-how and conta­cts in the Heil­bronn econo­mic region. The aim is to deve­lop Heil­bronn into a highly success­ful tech­no­logy loca­tion. This also inclu­des the estab­lish­ment and expan­sion of clus­ters (MedTech, BioTech, Clean­Tech). www.zf-hn.de

Advi­sor: Tran­sac­tion Team ACXIT Capi­tal Partners
Thomas Klack, Mana­ging Partner
Klaus Nest­ler, Part­ner Life Sciences
Bastian Spren­ger, Director
Andreas Illmer, Associate

ACXIT Capi­tal Part­ners is a leading inter­na­tio­nal corpo­rate finance and finan­cial advi­sory firm for mid-market clients, and entre­pre­neurs in Europe and beyond. Since 1998, we offer our clients compre­hen­sive corpo­rate finance advi­sory services inclu­ding M&A and capi­tal markets advi­sory as well as debt and stra­te­gic advi­sory. As an inde­pen­dent, priva­tely owned firm we main­tain offices and repre­sen­ta­ti­ons in Frank­furt, Munich, Zurich, Hong Kong and New York as well as strong alli­an­ces in the UK and Fran­cisco. www.acxit.com

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