DURHAM – Durham-based BioAgilytix, a fast-growing provider of bioanalytical testing services for large-molecule drugs, will be acquired by a privately held Belgian investment company.

Terms of the acquisition by Cobepa S.A., with offices in Brussels and New York, were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close later this month, the companies said in a news release.

The acquisition will provide BioAgilytix with increased capital and resources to meet growing demand for its services, said Jim Datin, president and chief executive officer, who also serves on the North Carolina Biotechnology Center’s board of directors.


“It will enable us to invest in further building out our talented team, expanding our advanced lab facilities in both the USA and Europe, and adding adjacent bioanalytical services that will benefit our customers,” Datin said.

BioAgilytix has been owned by Riverside Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm, since 2013.

“We are proud to have supported the company by significantly growing the scientific organization, meaningfully expanding laboratory capacity, broadening the customer base, completing the acquisition of Hamburg-based IPM Biotech, and implementing best-in-class systems and processes,” said David Belluck, general partner at Riverside Partners. “BioAgilytix’s success is a testament to the commitment of its management team and employees to solving their customers’ unique scientific challenges.”

Jim Datin

Jim Datin

With lab locations in Durham and Hamburg, Germany, BioAgilytix provides contract services to pharmaceutical and biotech companies internationally. Its services include pharmacokinetics, immunogenicity, biomarkers, and cell-based assays supporting the development and release testing of biologics. The company offers assay development, validation, and sample analysis under non-GLP, GLP, and GCP, as well as GMP quality control testing.

“We recognize BioAgilytix as a leader in the specialty area of large molecule bioanalysis, and with our support, its team will be fully equipped to help global pharmaceutical and biotech sponsors bring more large-molecule drugs to market, faster,” said Peter Connolly, managing director of Cobepa North America. “We are pleased to partner with BioAgilytix in the next phase of its development, providing the resources necessary to extend its impressive track record, retain and add to its respected team, and solidify its position as the premier worldwide provider of large-molecule bioanalytical testing services.”

Backed by European families, Cobepa manages a diversified portfolio of private equity investments valued at around 2.5 billion euros.

Expanding staff, facilities

BioAgilytix has grown robustly in recent years, and the trend is continuing.

It has hired over 100 new employees so far this year and plans to hire about 140 more in the next year. The company has 275 employees worldwide with 210 of them in Durham.

BioAgilytix is developing an additional 21,173-square-foot building next to its current facility in Durham, bringing the site’s total footprint to over 69,000 square feet. The expansion, due for completion by April 2019, follows another expansion of 21,000 square feet about a year ago.

“Across the board, industry demand for bioanalysis supporting large-molecule drug development is on the rise,” Datin, said previously. “The expansion will ensure we can continue to meet sponsor demands, efficiently and effectively, to deliver the timely and robust results they need.”

This summer BioAgilytix was named to Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America for 2018. The company came in at No. 1,833 on this year’s list, jumping 1,713 spots from its ranking the previous year.

The company will report almost $60 million in revenue this year, a spokesperson said.