Charles River Laboratories acquires Distributed Bio

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

January 4, 2021 -- Charles River Laboratories has acquired Silicon Valley-based antibody drug discovery firm Distributed Bio for $83 million in cash.

The merger combines Charles River's drug discovery and nonclinical development expertise with Distributed Bio's antibody libraries and immuno-engineering platform. The acquisition occurred on December 31, 2020, and marks the culmination of an exclusive partnership between the two companies that began in October 2018.

With the acquisition, Charles River has expanded its scientific capabilities with a large-molecule discovery platform. James Foster, chair, president, and CEO of Charles River, added that the acquisition fills a gap in the company's portfolio and enhances Charles River's ability to serve as a single-source partner for clients in early-stage research.

The purchase price included $83 million in cash and up to $21 million in contingent additional payments based on future performance. Charles River financed the proposed acquisition and fees through its existing revolving credit facility and cash.

Distributed Bio had an estimated annual revenue of approximately $15 million in 2020. The company maintains the SuperHuman antibody libraries and integrated antibody optimization technologies, which help to boost the probability of successfully delivering readily formattable antibody fragments for cell and gene therapy candidates.


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