Cognate BioServices announces acquisition of Cobra Biologics

Cognate BioServices (Cognate), a leading contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) specialized in cell and cell-mediated gene therapy products and Cobra Biologics (Cobra), a leading CDMO specialized in providing manufacturing services for plasmid DNA and viral vector, today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement in which Cognate will acquire all of the outstanding share capital of Cobra. Existing Cognate investor EW Healthcare Partners led the financing for the acquisition.

The transaction creates an industry-leading enhanced services provider delivering drug development and manufacturing solutions to the global cell and gene immunotherapy and regenerative medicine industries. Together, Cognate and Cobra will be well positioned to leverage their decades of industry knowledge and experience, provide an integrated supply chain for their clients, and expand their global capability to provide better and more scalable solutions to support the ever-changing needs of their clients.

“This acquisition is central to Cognate’s strategy to build on its existing offerings and create an enterprise platform for life cycle management of cell and gene therapy products, accelerating the availability of new technologies to patients that need them most,”

said J. Kelly Ganjei, CEO of Cognate.

“Cobra is a well-established leader in the development and manufacture of a variety of DNA and viral vectors that our current and prospective clients urgently need. With an impressive performance history and reputation in supporting cell and gene therapy product developers navigating through development and manufacturing challenges and capacity needs, the combined Cognate-Cobra expertise, infrastructure, and geographical footprint immediately positions both businesses to better respond to current and future market needs more quickly, effectively, and comprehensively.”

Evis Hursever, Managing Director at EW Healthcare Partners, said,

“EW Healthcare Partners is delighted to have the opportunity to back the Cognate team as they drive the growth and the transformation of the business into a leading provider in the cell and gene therapy space.  We look forward to continuing to support the Company and the exceptional management team as they capitalize on the growth opportunities ahead and achieve their ambitious growth plans.”

Peter Coleman, CEO of Cobra Biologics, said,

“Cobra Biologics has built its reputation in providing high quality process development, manufacturing and fill/finish services for plasmid DNA, viral vector, and proteins.  Joining forces with Cognate is exciting, positioning the combined Cognate-Cobra as a leading service provider across the advanced therapy supply chain.  The acquisition by Cognate will strengthen Cobra’s capability and capacity, broadening our service offering for both new and existing customers.”

This transaction further supports Cognate’s mission to meet the needs of the ultimate consumer of its services—the patients with unmet medical needs, focused on addressing the growing demand for rapid access to advanced manufacturing capabilities integrated into a commercial-scale manufacturing environment.

The Company will continue to be supported by its existing investors.  EW Healthcare Partners and Medivate Partners participated in this round of funding for the acquisition of Cobra, and Blackrock and the sovereign wealth fund will also continue to partner with the Company.

The transaction is subject to receipt of approval under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.