Rare Daily Staff

Charles Rivers Laboratories said it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the gene therapy contract development and manufacturing organization Vigene Biosciences for $292.5 million in cash and additional performance-based contingent payments of up to $57.5 million.

The transaction, which is expected to close in the beginning of the third quarter of 2021, will expand Charles Rivers’ cell and gene therapy CDMO capabilities for viral vectors and plasmid DNA. The company said it is seeking to become the “scientific partner of choice for advanced drug modalities from discovery and non-clinical development to CGMP manufacturing. It positions the company to offer a full range of services in this high-growth market.

The addressable market for cell and gene therapy CDMO services, principally for cell therapy, plasmid DNA, and viral vector production, is currently estimated at approximately $2.5 billion globally and is expected to grow at least 25 percent annually over the next five years, the company said.

“The addition of Vigene Biosciences’ extensive gene therapy expertise will enable us to expand our comprehensive cell and gene therapy portfolio to span each of the major CDMO platforms – cell therapy, viral vector, and plasmid DNA production,” said James Foster, chairman, president and CEO of Charles River Laboratories. “In these emerging, high-growth, value-added segments, we intend to continue to differentiate ourselves by bringing our high-science, customizable approach to support the complex needs of cell and gene therapy developers and innovators worldwide.”

Photo: James Foster, chairman, president and CEO of Charles River Laboratories

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