Thermo Fisher buys Henogen for nearly $880 million in gene therapy expansion

(Reuters) - Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc said on Friday it completed its 725 million euros ($879.72 million) acquisition of Belgium-based Henogen SA that will help strengthen the medical device maker’s position in the fast-growing field of gene therapy manufacturing.

Henogen, a unit of contract manufacturing services provider Novasep, manufactures viral vectors that are frequently used in gene therapies to deliver genetic materials into defective cells.

“Viral vector production is one of the fastest growing products in healthcare for the new generation of cell and gene therapies,” KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Paul Knight said.

Two years ago, Thermo Fisher bought another contract manufacturer that specialized in making viral vectors, Brammer Bio.

Henogen has about 400 employees and is estimated to have generated revenue of 80 million euros ($97.04 million) in 2020, Thermo Fisher said, adding the business will be part of its pharma services business.

Thermo Fisher has benefited in recent days due to demand for COVID-19 testing, with sales rising 36% to $8.52 billion in the third quarter, helped by a $2 billion boost from the testing.

The Henogen deal was a solid example of how Thermo Fisher is likely to deploy cash flows associated with COVID diagnostics, Evercore ISI analyst Vijay Kumar said.

“Acquiring a strong double-digit top business is extremely compelling in this market.”

Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla and Amruta Khandekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli