13 May 2021
We have advised fast-growing biotech company, Nuclera, on its acquisition of E Ink’s digital microfluidics unit.
Based in Cambridge, UK, Nuclera is a pioneer in making biology accessible through desktop enzymatic protein and gene synthesis. E Ink Holdings Inc., based on technology from MIT’s Media Lab, is the leading innovator of electronic ink technology that has transformed and defined the eReader market, enabling a new multi-billion dollar market in less than 10 years.
Combining Nuclera expertise on protein and gene synthesis technologies with E Ink's innovative electronic ink technology will enable the delivery of a revolutionary desktop protein and gene “bioprinter” with breakthrough speed and convenience for researchers in human health, agriculture, and other markets of global importance. The combined lab-on-a-chip technology will enable a user in a single day to program digitally the bioprinting of proteins and genes on a desktop device.
Through the transaction, E Ink will contribute intellectual property, equipment, and highly specialized scientists and engineers and in return will become the largest strategic shareholder in Nuclera. The resulting Nuclera US subsidiary will be co-located within the E Ink Innovation Centre in Billerica, MA, a short distance from the growing biotech technology hub in Cambridge, MA. Since its establishment in 2013, Nuclera has grown to fifty-seven employees across two continents as the Company delivers on its founders’ vision to make biology accessible to everyone through desktop bioprinting.
Commenting on the transaction, Partner Ross McNaughton, commented: "This is an incredibly exciting step for the Nuclera team, as it continues on its impressive trajectory. The vision of making biology accessible by printing DNA and proteins with digital microfluidics is at the cutting edge of life sciences, and Nuclera is another example of the depth of innovation within the UK and indeed Cambridge ecosystems. We look forward to continuing our successful relationship with Nuclera as it grows from strength to strength."
Dr. Michael Chen, Co-founder and CEO of Nuclera added: “This acquisition allows Nuclera to combine the biological with the digital in one product and under one roof. The transaction was extremely complex and Ross, Adrian and the Taylor Wessing team have been exceptional in every respect and provided tremendous value to us with their experience and highly innovative, commercial advice.”
The team was led by Partners Ross McNaughton and Adrian Toutoungi, with support from Associates Charlie Adams, Oli Denne, and Tom Witte, and Paralegal Amie Corry across the firm's corporate and IP practices. Stacy Kim and the team at Wilson Sonsini supported on matters of US law.