PerkinElmer Expands Horizons with $383 Million CRISPR Tech Acquisition


Intent on growing their life sciences portfolio, PerkinElmer has agreed to acquire cell engineering specialist Horizon Discovery Group for approximately $383 million. 

The acquisition will add gene editing and gene modulation tools to PerkinElmer’s existing genomic solutions to explore next-gen cell engineering and customized cell lines with the goal of advancing precision medicine.  

Based in the UK, Horizon employs about 400 worldwide with offices in the U.S. and Japan. They specialize in genetic base editing technologies for living cell models by way of CRISPR reagents, in addition to gene modulation products using RNA interference methods. They recently announced the addition of single-cell RNAseq-linked CRISPR screening services, offering unparalleled biological insights for their customers.  

One of the key fundamentals for molecular research and drug discovery is being able to knock down a gene or function and explore the results to discover actionable insights and new clinical trial candidates faster," said Prahlad Singh, PerkinElmer’s CEO. "We’re excited to team up with Horizon to not only add CRISPR and RNAi capabilities into our existing portfolio, but also to leverage our combined life sciences screening and applied genomics solutions to help propel the next phase of cell and gene research for precision medicine.” 

The deal will be PerkinElmer’s 6th life sciences-focused acquisition in the past five years, making it their most targeted growth sector.  Their current portfolio includes a wide range of immunoassay platforms, high content screening and in vivo imaging, robotic liquid handling technologies and next-generation sequencing library preparation kits.  

“PerkinElmer leads with science and creates total solutions to bring today’s leading innovations together for our customers, while also working at the cutting edge of what’s next. Today’s announcement delivers on both of these fronts,” Singh also said.  

PerkinElmer’s COVID-19 nucleic acid detection kit was approved for sample pooling last week by the FDA with an EUA. The kit will increase the number of individuals who can be tested without increasing resources. The PerkinElmer kit has the lowest Limit of Detection among authorized tests according to data released by the FDA.  

PerkinElmer’s mission is innovation for a healthier world. The company reported revenue of approximately $2.9 billion in 2019. The Horizon acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter or 2021.

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