By Eduardo Longoria
10x Genomics, Inc, trading on the Nasdaq as TXG, announced on October 5th that it has agreed to acquire ReadCoor, Inc., developer of foundational In Situ technologies, based in Boston, for cash and stock consideration of $350 million. The announcement follows its late August acquisition of CARTANA AB for a sum of $41.2 million. Stockholm-based CARTANA AB specializes in mapping gene expression in brain tissue using their In Situ RNA analysis technology.
As a result of these purchases, 10x Genomics will acquire over 110 patents and applications that cover multiple foundational In Situ (on-site) analysis approaches and swell its already beefy patent portfolio of over 825 issued patents and applications. 10x can pay for both transactions with a combination of cash from its balance sheet as well as shares of stock. The company will provide further details on the market opportunity and product strategy at a future date.
ReadCoor and CARTANA came out of laboratories at Harvard and Stockholm University, respectively and both founders are experts in their fields’. Wanting to take advantage of available talent, 10X Genomics has added founders, George Church of ReadCoor and Mats Nilsson (a pioneer in In Situ sequencing) of CARTANA to its scientific advisory board.
In Situ Technology
The resources from ReadCoor and CARTANA will give 10x Genomics comprehensive and foundational intellectual property, key technology advances, and deep talent and expertise in this emerging field. In Situ approaches will give scientists the ability to directly measure large numbers of molecules in tissue by capturing the precise location of those molecules at sub-cellular resolution. These approaches work well with the company’s existing Chromium Single Cell and Visium Spatial platforms. These platforms can analyze large amounts of single cells and mRNA transcriptomes, respectively. With In Situ, 10x Genomics expects to establish the foundation for a third technology platform. In addition to supporting discoveries made by the Chromium and Visium platforms, In Situ will broaden the range of customers and enable new translational and clinical applications.
In Situ analysis will be able to save 10X an estimated $15 per sample by avoiding the process of isolating nucleic acids from the cells. The costs avoided on reagents and technical hours when analyzing “-omics” at scale will make 10X able to out price many of their competitors that don’t use in situ analysis. CARTANA’s In Situ Sequencing solution enables simultaneous analysis of hundreds of genes within all cells comprising a tissue, without losing tissue morphology, with high sensitivity and throughput in several research areas.
“We conceived of In Situ approaches early on as the best way to perform genomic analysis and develop powerful clinical applications. Since then, we have been innovating and building out an extensive range of capabilities to bring those ideas to reality and transform the world of biomedicine,” said Richard Terry, founder and CEO of ReadCoor. “We have followed and been impressed with 10x Genomics for years and look forward to combining forces as we execute on a shared vision.”
“Our team has been focused on developing In Situ technologies for a number of years, starting with work at Stockholm University and Karolinska Institute,” said Malte Kuhnemund, Co-Founder and EVP of R&D at CARTANA. “We are thrilled to join 10x and become a part of their Swedish research center in Stockholm as we continue to build and deliver products for scientists around the globe.”
The company expects the ReadCoor acquisition to be completed later this month, subject to shareholder approval and customary closing conditions. The CARTANA acquisition has been fully completed, and the market can look forward to seeing what the newly expanded 10X Genomics will do.
Editor: Rajaneesh K. Gopinath, Ph.D.
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