Bio-Rad shutters Cambridge facility
- Bio-Rad is shuttering its Digital Biology Center Cambridge, the former GnuBIO site. The aim is to combine the company's digital biology R&D into a single site at Pleasanton, California.
- There is likely to be a degree of restructuring, but it's not yet clear how many will move site, or be laid off. Bio-Rad did not respond to request for comment at the time of publicaiton. According to the Boston Business Journal, the move will result in loss of 92 jobs.
- Bio-Rad will turn its focus back to its droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) technology, which is being used worldwide.
Bio-Rad snagged GnuBIO and its fully integrated droplet-based DNA sequencing technology in a deal back in April 2014. The technology was designed to bring all the steps into a single, fast workflow for research and diagnostics. The GnuBIO site became Bio-Rad's Digital Biology Center Cambridge. At the time of the deal, Bio-Rad was already developing its own droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) technology, and launched its California-based Digital Biology Center in 2012 to develop research and diagnostic tools based around the technology.
While the closure in Cambridge does not appear to be an abandonment of a deal that cost the company $39.7 million in cash and $10 million in contingent payments, the company is likely looking to cut costs. Its second quarter 2017 net sales were $504.7 million, down 2.3% year-on-year, and its net income was $5.0 million, compared with $18.0 million during the same period in 2016.
"The second quarter of 2017 has been one of our most challenging… These sales results, along with substantial spending related to implementing new systems and operations in Europe, as well as increased expenditures for newly acquired products and technology, combined to produce a disappointing operating result for the quarter," said Norman Schwartz, Bio-Rad president and CEO during a second quarter earnings presentation.
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