Companies Worth Watching: Lucigen acquired by LGC

“Simplifying Genomics.” In 1998, David Mead founded Lucigen as a spinoff from Promega.  The idea, simple yet potentially disruptive was to develop a diagnostic technology to quickly test people for diseases.  Over the course of two decades, Lucigen commercialized a broad range of life sciences products and services for nucleic acid amplification and cloning, DNA sequencing and protein expression. Then, some 20 years after he founded the Company, with a molecular test in hand for diseases ranging from Ebola to Clostridium difficile (or C. diff.), Lucigen was acquired (in February 2018) by LGC, a London-based provider of products and services for human health, food and environmental applications.

In a testament to the attractiveness of the Larta-managed NIH CAP (Commercialization Accelerator Program), David Mead, who also served as Lucigen’s Chief Scientific Officer,  participated in the Program three times: 2009-2010, 2011-2012, 2014-2015.

In addition to its internal diagnostic work, Lucigen manufactures and distributes genomic kits, enzymes, reagents, and other products for companies like Epicentre, a Madison, WI-based subsidiary of Illumina (NADAQ: ILMN). Last year (2017), Lucigen received the 2017 U.S. President’s “E” award, the highest recognition honoring a U.S. entity for significant contributions to the expansion of U.S. exports.

In a press release, LCG’s President and Genomics Managing Director asserted that Lucigen’s assets will help LGC expand in the gene editing and sequencing markets.

Lucigen is also viewing its deal with LGC, which has operations in 22 countries across five continents, as an opportunity to greatly increase exposure to and for Lucigen’s products and services.

“Being part of a larger, global group will enable us to further expand our reach to new markets,” Lucigen CEO Ralph Kauten said in a prepared statement.

Read more on the acquisition here.