ABER Instruments Acquires BugLab LLC
To Consolidate its World-Leading Biomass Monitoring Portfolio
Alexandria, VA. USA: ABER Instruments (ABER), a world-leading manufacturer of on-line biomass monitoring technology, today announced it has completed the acquisition and asset transfer of BugLab LLC (BugLab), a well-respected producer of optical sensors for online cell density measurement. The acquisition, effective from 1st February 2021, will add complementary technology to ABER ’s portfolio, allowing expansion of its biomass monitoring applications into new and existing markets.
ABER purchased BugLab assets including patents, designs, trademarks, and other intellectual property on 1st September 2020 for an undisclosed sum. The assets have now been successfully transferred to ABER’s US subsidiary in Alexandria, VA and to ABER’s manufacturing base in the UK. There, ABER‘s reputed and experienced technical teams will support, develop, and rebrand the BugLab range according to established quality standards for use in highly regulated environments which operate to Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP). Following the acquisition of BugLab assets, from 1 st March 2021 ABER will take over technical support for legacy customers with their new range of optical products being available to the market later in 2021.
The BugLab technologies purchased by ABER cover biotechnology, chemical and academic laboratory sectors and are complementary to the ABER portfolio. ABER’s broader offering resulting from the acquisition will notably support its bioprocessing clients and will enhance its market position in non-invasive Process Analytical Technology (PAT) for biomass monitoring of microbial cell culture to support Quality by Design (QbD) manufacturing of biologics and vaccines.
Matthew Lee, President at ABER explained: “Our long-term strategy is to expand and assure our business resilience going forward. We plan to execute this through organic and acquisitive growth and have been actively assessing various technologies in the field of cell density measurement for over two years.”
Lee continued: “BugLab hit the sweet spot for us because their sensors use optical scattering, which outperforms competitors for precision and range in total cell monitoring. They also have a strong presence in the bioprocessing sector with their sensors being used in market-leading single-use mini bioreactors for microbial applications. We are therefore delighted to be combining our capacitance-based biomass measurement expertise with BugLab’s, as this will provide a broader biomass monitoring range to meet the growing demand from our biopharma clients for non-invasive, on-line sensors to use in bioprocessing 4.0 manufacturing facilities.”
Dr Martin Debreczeny, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of BugLab added: “We have worked alongside ABER for many years as we have several customers and distributors in common and have been impressed by their deep understanding of biomass monitoring, as well as how they developed their capacitance sensors. We know that they have the technical capability and drive to support and nurture our technology as it will offer them a major advantage in microbial cell monitoring. We always wanted BugLab’s technology to go to a specialist company that would take it to the next level and with ABER we have found the perfect fit.”
Dr Lindsey Male
Product applications & lab specialist
Tel: +44 (0) 1970 636 300
For General Enquiries
Dr Aditya Bhat
Vice President – Technology
Tel: +1 540 676 8113
Optical Technology Commercial
& Operational FAQs
Will ABER sell existing BugLab products following the acquisition?
ABER will not sell existing BugLab products following the acquisition. ABER will hold stock of the latest models of BugLab products to provide as replacements in case of failures in the field to ensure continuity of existing BugLab customer’s measurement solutions until the updated ABER versions are available, after which time ABER Optical products will replace BugLab.
How will existing customers be supported?
From now until 28th February BugLab will continue to provide technical support. After this time, support responsibility for existing customers will lie with ABER Instruments, headed by Dr Lindsey Male, Optical Product Specialist. ABER have been preparing and receiving training from BugLab since September 2020 to equip themselves.
When can ABER’s distributors start selling OD sensors?
ABER plans to release their new range of optical products mid-2021. We will inform distributors of all release plans and provide training and support prior to product release.
Will the existing distributors and MRs sell the product or will there be new distributors?
This will be handled on a case-by-case basis. There is a large overlap in the distribution networks of ABER and BugLab. ABER distributors will have the opportunity to distribute the new optical product range if they desire.
What are the plans for the BugLab name?
The BugLab name is a trademark asset which is now owned by ABER Instruments. ABER do not intend to continue operating under this name when new products are released.
How does ABER plan on naming and branding existing and new OD products?
The optical product range will be named and branded under ABER, similarly to our Futura.
Will the BugLab team be employed by ABER?
The BugLab team will not continue as ABER employees on a permanent basis. However, strong relationships remain and BugLab employees may work with ABER on a consultancy basis in certain cases.
Does ABER have the technical expertise to troubleshoot existing products and develop new ones?
Yes. ABER has been aware and planning for this occasion for over 6 months and has hires in place who have been working with the inventors of the patented technology to effectively transfer knowledge to the ABER team.
Where will the products be manufactured?
All assembly and calibration procedures which were carried out on the premises of BugLab LLC will be transferred to ABER Instruments Ltd state of the art manufacturing facility, ensuring the product quality and consistency is in line with what customers have grown to expect from ABER Instruments.
Does ABER plan on changing the BugLab products? If so, how?
Yes, ABER do plan to develop the BugLab products before re-releasing mid-2021. The developments are to bring the products in line with the quality standards of ABER’s existing range and to improve the user experience while maintaining the superior data provided by the patented technology. This will contain, but not be limited to, consolidation of base units, improved software and manufacturing in line with our ISO9001 certification to ensure CFR21 compliance.