Stories: CELLINK acquired single-cell dispensing company cytena
CELLINK has entered in an agreement with the owners of cytena GmbH to acquire all cytena shares for a purchase price of 30.25 M€. The Freiburg, Germany – based venture specialises in single-cell printing technology. The deal will expand Cellink’s capabilities in both pharma and cosmetics.
The acquisition is in line with CELLINK’s commercial strategy, strengthening CELLINK’s product offering and providing a more complete 3D cell culturing solution. cytena is a life science company, founded in 2014 within the Institute for Microsystems Technology (IMTEK) at the University of Freiburg, focusing on single-cell technologies.
“We are excited to welcome cytena to the CELLINK family of life-science companies with this strategic acquisition. We are furthering CELLINK’s global commercial strategy by focusing on the pharmaceutical industry and providing the most innovative solutions to researchers around the world. With cytena’s revolutionary technology platforms we will streamline workflows for our present and future customers, and enhance our presence in the pharmaceutical industry, a strategy that is well aligned with our vision. Together with Dispendix and cytena, we will be well-positioned to offer comprehensive solutions for both academic and pharmaceutical customers worldwide.” Erik Gatenholm, CEO, CELLINK.
The cytena team has developed a patented single-cell printer™ technology, which enables users to isolate and dispense single cells in a documented, gentle and sterile process. The single-cell printers have been manufactured in Germany since 2015 and are marketed worldwide. In 2018, the x.sight™ series was added to the company’s product portfolio. Most of the top ten pharmaceutical companies use cytena’s single-cell printers to produce clonal cell lines for manufacturing biologicals, such as antibodies. Although cytena's products are most suitable for pharmaceutical companies, this is an area and market which CELLINK has communicated interest in expanding further into.
Through this strategic acquisition, CELLINK expands its technology portfolio, supporting further expansion into the pharmaceutical industry. CELLINK offers bioink, bioprinters, rapid dispensers and live cell imaging systems that enable creation and monitoring of human tissues and 3D cell culture models. cytena’s single-cell dispensing platform enables pharmaceutical companies to develop antibodies and cell lines and offers a great complement to CELLINK’s 3D bioprinting technologies.
The companies’ synergies enable greater market opportunities for CELLINK’s and cytena’s product portfolio and global sales forces. The products are well-suited to be sold together to CELLINK’s existing customer base. cytena will remain under current entity and management post-transaction.
The company estimates that cytena’s turnaround will be approximately 4.5 M€ (3.0 M€ in 2018) in the 2019 calendar year with an EBITDA-margin of approximately 40%. Due to strong growth, no positive cashflow is anticipated from the business in 2019.
“We are extremely looking forward to being part of the CELLINK family. In CELLINK we have found a great partner, which shares our vision for the company and will help us to further accelerate cytena’s growth. We see interesting synergies in marketing, sales and R&D between all four group member companies: cytena GmbH in Germany, cytena Bioprocess Solutions Co. Ltd. in Taiwan, CELLINK in Sweden and the US, as well as Dispendix GmbH in Germany. Our customers and partners will benefit from an extended product offering and a stronger global presence.” Jonas Schoendube, CEO, cytena.
Founded in 2016 in Sweden, offering a few printer systems and bioinks, Cellink went straight to an IPO on Nasdaq First North that year, raising €360,000 (SEK 3.7M). In 2018 the company received a Phase 2 grant from the EIC pilot SME Instrument of 2.450.327 €. The company is present in over 50 countries and more than 600 laboratories.
View CELLINK's information on the EIC SME Instrument data hub.