Serologicals Corporation, a provider of biological products and enabling technologies, has agreed to acquire AltaGen Biosciences in a move the company said is an attempt to win a greater portion of the cell culture business.

AltaGen is the parent firm of Sierra BioSource, which conducts contract research and development services in cell culture.

“We made the decision to bring Sierra’s expertise into our company after collaborating on several successful research projects since 2002,” said David Dodd, president and CEO of Serologicals, in a statement. “We anticipate that this acquisition will further strengthen our capabilities in our rapidly expanding cell culture business.

“The acquisition will also enable us to provide a broad range of technical support services to our existing cell culture customers as well as to others in the cell culture industry,” he added. “In addition, we expect to accelerate our cell culture product development program as a result of this acquisition. Sierra BioSource has an excellent and well-deserved reputation in the biopharmaceutical industry.”

Serologicals (Nasdaq: SERO) cited figures from analysts in estimating the global cell culture market at being worth $850 million, with 15 percent of that including services “similar to the services provided by Sierra”.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Serologicals said it expected the deal to close in the third quarter.

SERO was trading at $19.92, down 16 cents, in later afternoon trading Wednesday.

AltaGen and Sierra BioSource are based in Morgan Hill, CA.

In other news, Serologicals announced that Dodd, the CEO, would be purchasing and selling up to 15,000 shares of the firm’s stock under a so-called Rule 10b5-1 plan over the next two years. “Once the plans are adopted, the officers or directors have no discretion over the timing or price of the sales,” the company said. “These plans enable officers and directors to gradually diversify their investment portfolios, spread stock trades out over an extended period of time to reduce any market impact, and avoid concerns over whether they had material, non-public information when their stock was traded.”