Bruker Corp., a scientific instrument maker headquartered near Boston, has acquired St. Louis startup Canopy Biosciences.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Founded in 1960, Billerica, Massachusetts-based Bruker (NASDAQ: BRKR) manufactures scientific instruments and analytical technologies used by academic, government, pharmaceutical and industrial customers. The company, which had revenue of $2.1 billion in fiscal 2019, has 7,200 employees globally.
Canopy Biosciences provides gene editing, gene expression and bioprocessing products and services to its customers, which includes academic researchers, small to medium-size biotechnology firms and major pharmaceutical companies. The company, founded in 2016, will continue to operate out of the BioGenerator Labs at the BioSTL Building in the Cortex district as a wholly owned subsidiary of Bruker. Canopy has 50 employees overall and 20 in St. Louis.
Canopy was founded in 2016 by BioGenerator, the investment arm of local innovation hub BioSTL, with a focus on research tools. It operated with an umbrella company strategy, acquiring and licensing technologies used by researchers. That approach was designed by BioGenerator to target a sector where St. Louis has opportunity, build a talented team and then create a product portfolio — in that order.
Canopy has been a fast-growing company. In 2019, the company snagged an investment from Boston-based private equity firm Ampersand Capital Partners and acquired German firm Zellkraftwerk GmbH and California-based Core Diagnostics.
“We are excited to add the multi-omics and high-content cytometry expertise of Canopy, and its novel ChipCytometry platform to Bruker,” said Dr. Mark Munch, the Bruker NANO group president, in a statement. “Canopy has a unique set of products that enable single cell, tissue and suspended cell-based discovery and validation in immunology and targeted proteomics, as well as a suite of complementary multi-omics services.”
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic put a wrinkle on Canopy’s growth trajectory. With many life sciences research and development sites operating at reduced capacity, the company has seen reduced demand due to pharmaceutical research customers that have pulled back on buying capital equipment.
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BioGenerator Senior Vice President Charlie Bolten said Canopy’s exit will provide the investment organization with the ability to use its financial return from the deal to further expand its startup portfolio.
“For BioGenerator, it means we have over a million dollars back to us and we’ll immediately re-deploy that into several new companies that we’re excited about that we will launch between now and the end of the year. It’s going to be a big year for us and having capital back allows to continue the model,” he said.