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Discovery Life Sciences Acquires HudsonAlpha Genomic Services Lab


By Bio-IT World Staff

April 3, 2019 | Discovery Life Science has acquired the assets, technology and staff of the HudsonAlpha Genomic Services Laboratory (GSL). Financial terms were not disclosed, but the HudsonAlpha Institute is now a shareholder of Discovery Life Sciences.

The acquisition includes including one of the largest global installations of Illumina NovaSeq platforms.

The Genomic Services Lab will remain in its physical location on the HudsonAlpha campus in Huntsville, Ala., and will make up a new division within Discovery Life Sciences: HudsonAlpha Discovery. Shawn Levy, founding director of the Genomic Services Laboratory, will join Discovery Life Science’s executive team as chief scientific officer, Genomics, and will continue as a faculty investigator with HudsonAlpha Institute.

Until last fall, Discovery Life Sciences was a biobank based in Los Osos, California. In October 2018, the company conducted a 4-way “strategic” merger combining its existing biospecimen business with Conversant Bio, a tenant of HudsonAlpha; and Folio Bio and Phylogeny, both based in Ohio, adding biopharmaceutical and consulting services.

In February of this year, the company acquired Sofia Bio and its extensive network of human biospecimen collection sites in Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, and the Czech Republic. The European acquisition will bring the company’s biospecimen collection to well over 10 million.

Genetic sequencing and bioinformatics services are a natural extension of Discovery’s core capabilities, according to a company statement. HudsonAlpha Discovery will provide clinically and scientifically annotated biospecimens, gene sequencing, bioinformatics, and laboratory services to the global pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and diagnostics industries.

“The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is a remarkable place. We embrace its vision of advancing science and education to improve health around the world,” said Discovery CEO Glenn Bilawsky in a statement. “We are so very proud that the Institute selected Discovery to be the stewards of the Genomic Services Laboratory going forward, and of [HudsonAlpha’s] investment in the future of our company.”

HudsonAlpha Discovery fits within Discovery’s biopharma division, which includes sequencing and bioinformatics from the Genomics Services Lab as well as cell isolations and services and tissues and histopathology.

Since its founding, HudsonAlpha has been an institute dedicated to collaboration, and has sought to bridge the gulf between ideas and discoveries generated in laboratories and their movement into the marketplace where they can benefit patients and society. The institute has been a biotechnology hub, and home to startups, as well as developing relationships with industry research partners to facilitate sponsored research collaborations, technology transfer, and the licensing of intellectual property. HudsonAlpha Discovery is the Institute’s tenth research and technology transfer for commercialized use and the largest to date.

“We are taking two organizations with amazing proficiencies and joining them to achieve capabilities that neither could accomplish alone,” said Levy in the same statement. “We have limitless opportunities as a specialized development partner. Together with the Discovery Partners’ clinical network, we can offer high-density genomic data to provide insights to any project.”

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