UPDATE : Monday, July 13, 2020
Psomagen-Macrogen consortium acquires uBiome's patents, data
  • By Lee Han-soo
  • Published 2019.12.18 16:56
  • Updated 2019.12.18 17:17
  • comments 0

Psomagen and Macrogen said that they have acquired uBiome's 246 microbiome patents and 300,000 microbiome data. The consortium of the two companies has also attained most of uBiome's assets, including its laboratory in San Francisco, LA.

uBiome is a leading microbiome company based in the U.S. and is known for having unique market competitiveness, especially in the microbiome's 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (16S rRNA) gene-based sequencing industry. The company ranks third globally in terms of patent portfolios in the field and ranks first globally in data acquisition.

In June, however, one of its co-founders resigned due to making false claims, and the company lost its Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) and College of American Pathologists (CAP) certifications.

uBiome soon filed for bankruptcy in September and started auctioning of its tangible and intangible assets. In November, the company selected the Psomagen-Macrogen consortium as the preferred bidder among other competing companies in the U.S., U.K., and Australia, and chose the consortium as the acquirer on Dec. 17.

"Only the final approval process of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court remains," the consortium said. "The approval is expected to come before the end of December."

The scope of the acquisition includes all of uBiome's tangible and intangible assets, including patent portfolios, proprietary data and samples, and laboratory equipment. The acquisition price is $7.7 million, which is equivalent to 1 percent of uBiome's enterprise value.

"With the acquisition, Psomagen has gained a competitive edge in the microbiome sector, considered as the next big thing in the bio-healthcare industry as well as a strong footing in advancing into the U.S. and global markets," the company said. "The microbiome market is rapidly emerging as a new growth engine that creates high value as the microorganisms in the body are identified as affecting various diseases such as neurological, cardiovascular, metabolic, and cancer diseases."

Psomagen said it plans to preempt the global market by building more stable and competitive services by combining its technology and the newly acquired patents and data.

About 300,000 microbiome data sets from uBiome are likely to be useful for integrating and developing various business areas such as personalized cosmetics, diet, healthcare, and new drug development.

"The acquisition is a great maneuver that allows Psomagen to gain global competitiveness and leadership in the microbiome market," Psomagen CEO Ryan W. Kim said. "The acquisition has given us a key tool to compete in the fierce microbiome market."

Macrogen CEO Yang Kap-seok also said, "This quality data will not only advance Psomagen and Macrogen's microbiome services but will also play a major role in creating various related business models through microbiome big data."

According to Frost&Sullivan, a global market research firm, the global microbiome market will grow 7.6 percent annually from $81.1 billion in 2019 to $108.7 billion by 2023.


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