Labcyte and Deerac Fluidics Combine Forces to Enhance Low Volume Liquid Handling
27 Jan 2008

Labcyte Inc. and Allegro Technologies Limited, which conducts business as Deerac Fluidics, announced today that they have reached agreement on the terms for combination of the two companies. Completion of the transaction requires shareholder approval and is expected within one month. Both companies are leaders in precise low-volume liquid dispensing for life science applications.

As pharmaceutical companies, genomic service providers, and other life science research organizations desire to perform larger numbers of assays within fixed budgets, there is a strong drive to reduce the volume of each assay in order to reduce cost and minimize waste. Although products from both Labcyte and Deerac address the growing market of low-volume liquid handling, each company utilizes a unique technology and they operate in different volume ranges.

Products from Labcyte and Deerac are used for different applications. They may also be used together when one component of an assay is added in the low nanoliter range and others are added in larger amounts. The Deerac products are based on a patented feed-back controlled system which is rapid, parallel and most effective in the 50 nanoliter to 20 microliter range. This technology was conceived at Trinity College Dublin, and its development was supported by grants from Enterprise Ireland. The Labcyte Echo® liquid handlers use acoustic energy to transfer 2.5 nanoliter droplets and are most useful in the 2.5 to 200 nanoliter range.

“At Labcyte, we evaluated a wide variety of low-volume liquid handlers and found the Deerac Latitude™ and Equator™ to have the best precision in the 50 nanoliter range. We also found that the speed and flexibility of the Latitude could double the throughput of our new POD™ 810 plate assembler for assay plate preparation. The two teams have also conducted several joint seminars on low-volume assays and our people work well together,” said Dr. Elaine J. Heron, Chief Executive Officer of Labcyte. “It became clear that it made sense to combine the two companies.”

“Having research and manufacturing groups in Dublin gives us a solid base from which to support our growing business in Europe,” continued Dr. Heron. “Dublin offers a vibrant research community with business-friendly policies. The innovative atmosphere created by Trinity College Dublin makes location of our European operations close by especially attractive.”

“We are excited to become part of the business that has brought acoustic droplet ejection from a concept to a mainstream product used by most pharmaceutical companies,” said Dr. Jürgen Osing, the Managing Director of Deerac Fluidics, “and we are anxious to use our expertise in genomics to expand the applications of Labcyte Echo systems. This is also an opportunity for providing more local support for the Latitude and Equator products.”

The science community will benefit from this merger as it strengthens local sales and support. Applications expertise of Deerac in the field of genomic assays (genotyping, PCR set-up and sequencing) complements the expertise developed by Labcyte in the areas of high-throughput screening, miniaturization and reagent micro-transfers. Investors in the two companies benefit as market breadth is increased while economies of scale lead to more efficient operations.

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