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Thermo Electron acquires Ionalytics
WALTHAM, Mass.—Thermo Electron Corp. announced in early August it had acquired Ottawa-based Ionalytics Corp. whose key technology is an ion filtering device used with mass spectrometers in bioanalysis, proteomics and drug discovery. The purchase comes amid Thermo's continued bolstering of its LC-MS portfolio, that has also included the recent release of the LTQ Orbitrap at ASMS in June.
The core technology of Ionalytics is its patented High-Field Assymetric Waveform Ion Mobility Spectrometry (FAIMS) technology, an ion filtering device that reduces chemical background noise and is compatible with both liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry.
"Ionalytics has a very strong technology that is well-patented," says Marc Casper, senior vice president with Thermo. "Mass spec is the largest business within Thermo. We are always looking for technologies that can complement our portfolio. We saw a nice fit with Ionalytics' FAIMS novel ion separation technology."
With the acquisition of four-year old Ionalytics, Thermo also takes ownership of more than 30 patents related to the FAIMS technology. Formed as a spin off of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Ionalytics has sold its novel ion trap under the Selectra name.
Thermo plans initially to offer Selectra as an optional add-on in the near term, Casper says, and, in time, the technology could become an integral part of many of its mass spec instruments aimed at the bioanalysis and drug discovery market.
The deal between the two companies evolved over time, as Thermo worked closely with Ionalytics over the past two years to optimize the functionality of FAIMS with its mass spec line. "We have had a very good working relationship with the owners and management over those two years and in the last few months it seemed to make more sense going forward for them to become a part of our mass spec family," Casper notes.