Visikol acquired by Sweden-based CELLINK for up to $19.5M

Visikol, the health care imaging technology company founded in 2016 and based in Hampton, has been acquired by CELLINK Group in a deal worth up to $19.5 million, the two companies announced Thursday.

According to the terms of the deal, CELLINK — a bioconvergence company based in Sweden — will acquired all outstanding shares in Visikol for a purchase price of $7.5 million on a cash- and debt-free basis. There is an additional $12 million in potential payments attached to the deal.

Visikol, founded by entrepreneurs out of Rutgers University, focuses on accelerating the discovery and development of therapeutics by providing pharmaceutical and biotech companies with best-in-class 3D cell culture, 3D tissue imaging, multiplex imaging and digital pathology services.

Many of these services leverage the proprietary Visikol HISTO tissue clearing reagents as well as Visikol’s proprietary software platform, 3Screen, which is built on advanced machine learning evaluation to provide customers in-depth analysis of their tissue and cell culture samples.

Today, Visikol counts half of the Top 20 pharmaceutical companies as customers.

Visikol will be part of the CELLINK Group’s bioprinting business area and remain under current entity and management post-transaction.

Visikol CEO Michael Johnson said he looks forward to a continuing relationship.

“We founded Visikol five years ago with the vision to transform tissues into actionable insights for our customers,” he said. “Over the years, we have developed our offering by combining science with technology, which is spot-on what CELLINK is all about.

“We look forward to being a part of the group and continue to develop market-leading offerings together with our new colleagues.”

CELLINK CEO Erik Gatenholm said he sees great potential with Visikol by being able to offer additional elements in the drug discovery process by combining the Visikol HISTO
tissue clearing reagents with cloud-based technology for analysis, advanced imaging with digital pathology and 3D cell culture assays.

This opens up a new market segment for CELLINK Group, an entrance into the contract research market, a $11.58 billion market growing at about 8%, and access to a new source of revenue, he said.

“We see great potential in building a strong service portfolio based on innovative analysis of 3D cell cultures,” he said. “This is a great example of bioconvergence — where reagents meet software based on advanced machine learning, in order to improve health and create the future of medicine.”