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SA biotech buys Birmingham company
November 28, 2018

CytoBioscience CEO James Garvin said the acquisition of BioDtech is a big win for his San Antonio-based company. CARLOS JAVIER SANCHEZ | SABJ

By W. Scott Bailey, Senior Reporter, San Antonio Business Journal

San Antonio-based CytoBioScience has bought Birmingham, Alabama-based BioDtech Inc. as the local company continues to expand its product portfolio and geographic reach.

While terms of the transaction were not disclosed, the acquisition could yield significant revenue opportunities for CytoBioscience, which moved here from Germany a few years ago.

As part of the deal, BioDtech will retain its name and continue its way of operating as it becomes a wholly owned subsidiary, CytoBioscience CEO James Garvin said.

BioDtech, established in 2003, has worked to accelerate the development of technologically advanced products geared toward endotoxins. Shortly after it was born, the company negotiated a licensing agreement with the National University of Singapore for exclusive worldwide rights to develop products and technology related to detecting, neutralizing and removing endotoxins.

The acquisition is expected to provide new growth and greater financial stability for CytoBioscience.

“As long as you continue to expand your revenue base and your opportunity base, that’s always a great thing for a company,” Garvin said.

BioDtech’s work in endotoxins could prove lucrative to the extent that researchers attempting to grow cells are able to benefit from a more stable platform that protects against harmful contamination from endotoxins.

“Their technology does that,” Garvin said, while providing a more environmentally friendly alternative to using blood from crabs to detect and combat such endotoxins. “This is a synthetic process. … It’s a more humane platform.”

I reported in September that CytoBioscience had entered into a nonbinding agreement to buy BioDtech.

Familiarity among the companies’ leaders made reaching an agreement less complicated than it might otherwise have been. BioDtech Chairman Paul Castella is a senior managing partner in Targeted Technology, a San Antonio-based organization that has operated multiple funds and taken an early-stage investment position in several companies. BioDtech President Alan Dean has also been a senior managing partner in Targeted Technology.

“We have a long-standing relationship with those guys that makes life simpler and easier,” Garvin said.

BioDtech will remain in Alabama, at least for now, but could end up in San Antonio.

“It will stay in Birmingham for a while,” Garvin said. “There is a possibility in the not too distant future that it could come to us.”


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