PRESS RELEASE — BioLife Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLFS) (“BioLife” or the “Company”), a leading developer and supplier of class-defining bioproduction products and services for cell and gene therapies and the broader biopharma market, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all remaining outstanding shares of privately held Sexton Biotechnologies, Inc., that it does not currently own, for $24.0 million, in consideration for 506,382 newly issued shares of BioLife common stock. Taking into consideration liquidation preferences, BioLife will retain 19.9% of the consideration due to Sexton shareholders. The transaction is expected to close on or before September 1, 2021.
Sexton’s bioproduction tools portfolio includes proprietary closed vials for cell therapy final dose packaging, human platelet lysate (HPL) media, a bio-defined replacement for fetal bovine serum or human serum used in cell manufacturing, and automated cell processing machines. These class-defining products are currently embedded in more than 50 ongoing clinical trials of new cell and gene therapies. Sexton was spun out of Cook Regentec in 2019 with seed funding from BioCrossroads, BioLife Solutions, Casdin Capital and Cook Regentec.
Mike Rice, BioLife CEO, commented, “As a significant shareholder of Sexton since their spinout from Cook Regentec in 2019, we’ve been closely following Sean Werner and the Sexton team’s great execution and progress. The business is at an inflection point and their products are highly complementary to our portfolio, enabling BioLife to strengthen relationships with our marquee base of cell and gene therapy developers. We welcome the Sexton team to BioLife and look forward to leveraging our respective strengths to accelerate growth across our platforms.”
BioLife plans to retain all Sexton team members and the current facility in the 16 Tech Innovation District in downtown Indianapolis.
Aby J. Mathew, PhD, Executive Vice President & Chief Scientific Officer at BioLife, added, “Sexton’s cell processing platform is novel and has the potential to disrupt traditional cell therapy manufacturing workflows by improving quality and efficiency while consolidating several processing steps. Their tools are synergistic with our portfolio and are supported by a growing body of literature that highlights the benefits of using Sexton’s solutions.”
Sean Werner, PhD, President of Sexton Biotechnologies and, upon closing, Chief Technology Officer – Cell Processing Platform at BioLife, remarked, “This is a great day for the Sexton team and our shareholders. BioLife has been a key investor and critical supporter of our mission. Our corporate cultures are highly aligned, and we look forward to joining BioLife’s growing team and continuing to drive adoption of our cell and gene therapy bioproduction tools.”