Darmstadt, Germany, October 10, 2019 — Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced it has acquired FloDesign Sonics, of Wilbraham, Massachusetts, USA, developer of a unique acoustic cell processing platform for the industrialization of cell and gene therapy manufacturing. Financial details were not disclosed.
“Chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapies, or CAR-T for short, employs the body’s own immune systems to fight cancer by turning T cells into targeted therapeutics. This revolutionary cancer treatment is challenging and complex, with the process often taking up to a month,” said Udit Batra, member of the Merck Executive Board and CEO, Life Science. “Our acquisition of FloDesign Sonics will industrialize the manufacturing of autologous cell therapy, allowing these types of potentially life-saving treatments to reach more patients, faster.”
Merck is the first company to make acoustic technology available for cell therapy manufacturing. Acoustic cell processing is a disruptive technology that allows for the manipulation of cells with ultrasonic waves. FloDesign Sonics’ acoustic cell processing platform allows enhanced cell washing and concentration for manufacturing cell therapies. The acquisition is a strategic fit for Merck, strengthening the ability alongside pharmaceutical manufacturers to advance cell-based therapies to patients.
“Merck is the best home for FloDesign Sonics, our acoustic cell processing technology and our employees,” said Stanley Kowalski III, co-founder, chairman and CEO of FloDesign Sonics. “The opportunity for FloDesign Sonics to become part of a world class 351-year-old science and technology company is very rewarding.”
About FloDesign Sonics
Founded in 2009, the company develops an acoustic cell processing platform for cell and gene therapy applications. FDS just recently (Q1 2019) launched its first commercial product (Ekko) which allows the wash, concentration and formulation within Autologous CAR-T Manufacturing workflow. No relevant commercial revenue yet (2019: €0.8M). Currently 52 granted patents & >200 applied.
For further details: visit www.fdsonics.com/technology.
Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 56,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – Merck is everywhere. In 2018, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany generated sales of €14.8 billion in 66 countries.
Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck’s technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Performance Materials.