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Sysmex Acquires UK Company to Expand into New Business Domains toward Personalized Medicine

Expanding Our Portfolio and Reinforcing Our Technology Base in the Life Science Business

Date: 2017-06-01 Tags: Press release

Sysmex Corporation (HQ: Kobe, Japan; Chairman and CEO: Hisashi Ietsugu) has reached an agreement with Oxford Gene Technology IP Limited (HQ: Oxfordshire county, United Kingdom; CEO: Michael Evans; “OGT”) to acquire all shares in OGT (the “Acquisition”). Through this move, Sysmex aims to obtain OGT’s business and expertise in the cytogenetics1 domain and its reagent development capabilities used in next-generation sequencers (NGSs)2, thereby reinforcing its base in the life science business.

OGT was founded in 1995 by Professor Sir Edwin Southern, who developed the Southern blotting and hybridization method3. Over its 22-year history, the company has been a pioneer in gene analysis technologies. OGT has FISH4 (Cytocell®) and array CGH5 (CytoSureTM) businesses within the cytogenetics domain, as well as the NGS reagent (SureSeqTM) business.

In the FISH business, OGT provides around 430 types of high-quality FISH probes6. In the array CGH business, the company provides array products used in testing for congenital abnormalities and other genetic disorders. Both product groups are highly evaluated in the marketplace. Furthermore, in the NGS reagent business, OGT provides cancer diagnosis panels and the reagents used in measurement pretreatment.

In the life science business, Sysmex has been pursuing research and development into gene measurement technologies that are expected to find application in determining disease onset or recurrence risk and prediction of treatment impacts. We are converting OGT into a wholly owned subsidiary in order to further expand our portfolio and reinforce our technology base in the life science business.

Through the Acquisition, we aim to provide a unique solution in the cytogenetics market by fusing Sysmex’s flow FISH and other automation technologies with OGT’s expertise in the development of high-quality reagents. Furthermore, by obtaining OGT’s NGS reagent development capabilities, we aim to reinforce our technology base in the area of genomic medicine.

Going forward, through the provision of high-value testing Sysmex aims to contribute to enhanced quality of life for patients, the standardization of medical services and the development of personalized medicine.

We expect to conclude the acquisition proceedings in June 2017. Any impact resulting from the Acquisition on its consolidated operating performance is immaterial.

Overview of OGT

      
Name: Oxford Gene Technology IP Limited
Location: Oxfordshire county, United Kingdom
Founder: Professor Sir Edwin Southern
Representative: Dr. Michael Evans
Line of business: Development, production and sale of diagnostic and research reagents used in cytogenetic testing and the development, production and sale of research reagents used in NGSs      Capital:     GBP 414
Established: 1995
Consolidated net sales: GBP 19.7 million (fiscal year ended September 30, 2016)
 

Terminology    


1     Cytogenetics:
Cytogenetics refers to the study of chromosomes, particularly research related to illnesses arising due to chromosomal abnormalities. Research and testing typically involves the use of white blood cells, amniotic fluid or tissues samples and karyotype testing using G-banding or the FISH method. Other important methods include the multicolor FISH and comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) methods.
 
2     Next-generation sequencer (NGS):
An analyzer capable of simultaneously reading the large quantities of DNA basis and sequences that contain genetic information.
 
3     Southern blotting and hybridization:
This DNA analysis method was devised by Professor Sir Edwin Southern (J. Mol. Biol., 98, 503–508). Southern blotting involves using a filter to immobilize, analyze and identify agarose gel electrophoresis patterns in DNA. Southern hybridization uses nucleic acid complementarity to detect target gene or base sequences. As a result, specific genes can be detected and analyzed from among large quantities of DNA.
 
4     Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH):
A method that uses fluorescent substances bound only to specific genes to detect target genes within chromosomes. FISH testing is known for its use in gene testing for cancer and leukemia. This type of testing is listed in the tumor classification guidelines (WHO classification) formulated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an organization under the World Health Organization (WHO).
 
5     Array comparative genomic hybridization (CGH):
A chromosomal testing method for looking at a test sample suspected of having chromosomal abnormalities, comparing the sample’s volume and sequences with normal DNA to determine abnormalities. In 2013, testing using array CGH was included in the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics; Standards and Guidelines 2013.
 
6     Probe:
Composed of specific DNA and complementary base sequences, a probe is a base sequence synthetically produced to combine with the DNA to be detected. A probe is used to detect where the target DNA exists.


*Information contained in the press release is current as of the date of the announcement,
but may be subject to change without prior notice.


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