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11 January 2018

Agilent acquires UCC spinout Luxcel

Cellular research services spinout Luxcel will be folded into Agilent’s cell analysis division, providing an exit for gas testing equipment provider Mocon.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

Luxcel Biosciences, an Ireland-based cellular research services spinout from University College Cork (UCC), was acquired by scientific diagnostics firm Agilent Technologies for an undisclosed sum on Tuesday.

Founded in 2002, Luxcel tests cell cultures to establish oxygen concentration, drug toxicity and cell metabolism. Cell metabolism alterations can be indicative of malignant and cancerous transformations.

The tests are offered to research labs and are performed from treatment apparatus rather than from within organisms, a model known as in vitro.

Luxcel’s 12-person team will continue operating from Ireland as a sensor chemistries and bioassay unit within Agilent’s cell analysis division.

Richard Fernandes, chief executive of Luxcel, co-founded the company with Dmitri Papkovsky, who leads biophysics and bioanalysis in UCC’s School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology.

Luxcel disclosed $3.6m in funding in 2010 from gas testing equipment supplier Mocon, which received a 16.9% equity stake at the time.

Richard Fernandes said: "When Agilent approached us, it was clear to me that we have a shared passion for innovation designed to enable and support customers.

“Together, we have the potential to accelerate new product introductions by leveraging Agilent's R&D and global commercial infrastructures with our unique biosensor chemistries and assay development expertise."

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