Washington’s BioLife Solutions Acquires Custom Biogenic Systems in Bruce Township

BioLife Solutions Inc., a Washington-based developer and supplier of bioproduction tools for cell and gene therapies, has acquired substantially all of the assets of Custom Biogenic Systems Inc. in Bruce Township, a privately held company that designs and manufactures liquid nitrogen laboratory freezers and cryogenic equipment.
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Custom Biogenic Systems standard liquid nitrogen freezers
BioLife Solutions has acquired Custom Biogenic Systems, a designer and manufacturer of liquid nitrogen laboratory freezers and cryogenic equipment in Bruce Township. // Image courtesy of Custom Biogenic Systems

BioLife Solutions Inc., a Washington-based developer and supplier of bioproduction tools for cell and gene therapies, has acquired substantially all of the assets of Custom Biogenic Systems Inc. in Bruce Township, a privately held company that designs and manufactures liquid nitrogen laboratory freezers and cryogenic equipment.

John Brothers, founder, sole shareholder, and CEO of Custom, received $11 million in cash and $4 million of BioLife common stock in consideration for the asset sale. Brothers is now vice president of advanced freezer technologies at BioLife and may earn up to an additional $15 million in cash or stock over the next five years, based on exceeding certain annual new product revenue goals.

“The entire CBS team is excited to join BioLife,” says Brothers. “I started the company in 1987 with a goal to design and offer advanced liquid nitrogen freezers to safely store high-value biologic material. I’m thrilled to start this next chapter in the history of CBS and to leverage BioLife’s sales and marketing power and their relationships in the cell and gene therapy industry.”

Custom also offers a related cloud-based monitoring system that continuously assesses biologic sample storage conditions and alerts equipment owners if a fault condition occurs. Revenue for 2019 is expected to be $10 million-$11 million.

“We are keenly focused on assembling a robust portfolio of best-in-class cell and gene therapy bioproduction tools to reach our next financial milestone of $100 million in annual revenue,” says Mike Rice, president and CEO of BioLife. “We believe that a hallmark of CBS products is innovative technologies realized through the company’s design and engineering expertise, and excellent automated manufacturing capabilities.

“We plan to integrate CBS’s operations to grow the product line, diversify our revenue, and reduce supply chain costs for our evo dry vapor shippers by having certain components manufactured by CBS. We believe that the acquisition of CBS will allow us to deepen engagement with our cell and gene therapy customers and increase touchpoints in their manufacturing, storage, and distribution workflows.”

The Global Cryopreservation Equipment Market, published by Market Research, estimates that the worldwide demand for liquid nitrogen freezers and other storage products will exceed $2 billion in 2020.

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