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Best of both worlds
FRAMINGHAM, Mass.—Two leading life-science companies owned by Danaher Corp. are creating a new structure to combine their approach to separations technologies. This new alignment between AB Sciex and Beckman Coulter will enable the companies to better serve customers while addressing analytical challenges with powerful scientific strategies that take advantage of complementary technologies, according to the companies.
The Eksigent liquid chromatography (LC) team of the Sciex separations business and the capillary electrophoresis (CE) team of Beckman Coulter, a leader in benchtop capillary electrophoresis, will work together to develop solutions for fast and efficient separation of drugs, drug metabolites, organic acids, amino acids, low molecular-weight amines, peptides, nucleic acids and nucleosides. The combination of CE technology with nano -LC and micro-LC to broaden the range of solutions available to customers is aimed at contributing to the advancement of biologics, clinical research and academic research for biological applications.
"As we considered ways to expand our separations business, we saw synergies between our existing Eksigent business and Beckman Coulter Life Science's CE business," explains Dr. Ben Moshiri, director of the separations business at AB Sciex. "Among the synergies is the combination of CE technology and mass spectrometry technology. We both have been providing solutions to a similar customer base. For example, both groups are targeting the biologics market, so we came to the conclusion that we could be stronger together as one business."
"We see the complementary nature of Beckman Coulter's expertise in microscale separation with AB Sciex's expertise in microfluidics as a real opportunity to do something special," adds Dr. Jeffrey Chapman, strategic marketing manager for Beckman Coulter. "Being part of Danaher gave us the opportunity to explore these possibilities."
The transition includes personnel, CE technologies and resources from Beckman Coulter Life Sciences to AB Sciex, according to Moshiri. Chapman adds that the integration "will unfold phase by phase in order to be the least disruptive. We intend to make this seamless for our customers, having a well-defined integration plan that will get us all aligned quickly."
Moshiri explains that an integration team is guiding the transition.
"We are creating a dedicated sales, service and R&D team through this integration of expertise, complementary technologies and capabilities," he says. "While getting the transition right is important, we are also intensely focused on continuing to serve CE customers. Part of our role is to ensure that customers continue to get the same high level of service and support."
Chapman says Beckman Coulter is working closely with AB Sciex to "make the integration go forward as smoothly as possible." The CE team will remain at its existing sites in Brea and Carlsbad, Calif., and Indianapolis, among other sites.
"Beckman Coulter will continue to manufacture the CE products with the same high quality," Chapman says.
The companies plan to do phase 1 of the integration by the end of the third quarter and then have the entire integration completed worldwide by the beginning of 2014. AB SCIEX will be directing the CE business by September.
"It will take a little longer to move all the back-office data from Beckman to AB Sciex, but we will get it done," Moshiri says.
He adds, "the commercial potential is significant. We plan on joint product development as well as helping each other expand in multiple market segments. For example, the CE team's strong presence in biologics will surely help AB Sciex expand in biologics, which is already a key area for us, but we can gain much more ground. Separations technologies are also always evolving, so our joint product development work will give us an advantage. We are committed to investing in and advancing both the standalone CE technology and the CE-MS technology. We are customer solutions- focused. We're not technology-constrained."
Chapman concludes, "we see major opportunities in biologics and proteomics right out of the gate. We will also explore the potential of new innovation in clinical research and academic research. And let's look at CE-MS. By working together as one unit, we will be able to take CE-MS much further than if we went it alone."