Charles River acquisition enhances gene therapy capabilities

Charles River has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Vigene Biosciences. The purchase price is expected to be US$292.5 million, subject to customary closing adjustments. The acquisition will enhance Charles River’s gene therapy capabilities in the high-growth, value-added cell and gene therapy CDMO sector.

In addition to the initial purchase price, the transaction includes contingent additional payments of up to US$57.5 million based on future performance. The transaction is expected to close in the beginning of the third quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory requirements and customary closing conditions.

James Foster, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Charles River Laboratories, commented: “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. 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. Our goal is to become our clients’ scientific partner of choice for advanced drug modalities from discovery and non-clinical development to CGMP manufacturing. We look forward to welcoming Vigene’s dedicated employees to the Charles River family.

This partnership is said to expand Charles River’s gene therapy CDMO capabilities for viral vectors and plasmid DNA, complement its existing non-clinical development and manufacturing portfolio, enhance its growth potential with increased exposure in the high-growth market sector and to drive profitable growth and shareholder value.

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