GE Healthcare Acquires Wave Biotech

April 19, 2007
Patricia Van Arnum
ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Chalfont St. Giles, UK (Apr. 16)-GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric, acquired Wave Biotech LLC, a supplier of disposable manufacturing technologies and processing equipment for the biopharmaceutical industry.

Chalfont St. Giles, UK (Apr. 16)-GE Healthcare (www.gehealthcare.com), a unit of General Electric (Fairfield, CT, www.ge.com), acquired Wave Biotech LLC (Somerset, NJ, www.wavebiotech.com), a supplier of disposable manufacturing technologies and processing equipment for the biopharmaceutical industry. The deal also includes Wave Biotech’s European subsidiary, Wave Europe Pvt. Ltd (Cork, Ireland). Financial terms were not disclosed.

Wave Biotech focuses on developing disposable bioprocess equipment for operations traditionally requiring stainless-steel tanks and piping. Its products include bioreactors, mixing equipment, and equipment for fluid transfers. The company’s single-use bioreactors also are used to enable the manufacture of patient-specific cell- and gene-therapy products.

“The integration of single-use cell culture with GE Healthcare’s existing filtration and downstream operations will provide a host of new disposable solutions to this growing industry,” said Vijay Singh, president and founder of Wave Biotech, in a company release.

Wave Biotech has 70 employees and annual revenues of roughly $25 million. It operates research and development and manufacturing facilities in Somerset, New Jersey. Singh will continue to operate the business from the Somerset facility.  

Singh was involved in developing wave-induced agitation for fluid mixing and oxygenation in inflated plastic bags as a replacement for stirred tank bioreactors. This concept was developed into the company’s “Wave Bioreactor,” which it introduced in 1998. Further technical innovations include the development of bags with internal filters (patents pending) for perfusion and the scale-up to culture volumes over 500 L. Spinoffs of the technology include “Wave Mixers,” which provide noninvasive sterile mixing, “Wave Warmers” for thawing applications, and instrumentation suitable for introduction into bags.