Waters Acquires Mass Spec Technology

July 27, 2018
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Waters’ acquisition of Prosolia’s DESI technology boosts its mass spectrometry imaging portfolio.

On July 23, 2018, Waters announced that it has acquired exclusive rights to desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) technology for all mass spectrometry applications from Prosolia, a privately-held scientific instruments company, and the Purdue Research Foundation (PRF). The technology was invented at Purdue University by a team led by R. Graham Cooks, a Henry Bohn Hass distinguished professor of chemistry.

Under the transaction, Prosolia will be responsible for and will continue to honor its warranty commitments made prior to Waters’ acquisition of the DESI technology to those scientists and organizations who currently have a DESI source unit on any non-Waters mass spectrometer.

In connection with the transaction, Waters and Purdue University have also established a relationship under the terms of a new license agreement under which Waters will provide Purdue University with a Synapt G2-Si time-of-flight mass spectrometer to continue the advancement of DESI technology in research applications.

"The acquisition of DESI technology bolsters Waters' portfolio of mass spectrometry imaging innovations, a rapidly expanding MS [mass spectrometry] technique for biomedical research and related applications," said Chris O'Connell, chairman and CEO, Waters, in a company press release. "DESI mass spectrometry imaging provides complementary and actionable data when compared to classical histopathology imaging technologies with major advantages in analyzing the molecular fingerprint within a sample, thus delivering deeper biological insights. Ultimately, these insights will lead to better understanding of disease and enable the development of new, more effective medical therapies."

DESI imaging technology uses a charged jet of solvent-depositing micro-droplets onto a sample's surface where analytes are desorbed into a gas phase at ambient pressure and temperature. Subsequently, they are drawn in and analyzed by mass spectrometry.

"We at Prosolia are proud of our role in developing and commercializing DESI technology," said Justin Wiseman, CEO, Prosolia, the press release. "The potential for MSI [microsatellite instability] analysis using DESI technology is significant because of the quality of the data, the minimal sample preparation required, and the non-destructive nature of the technique allowing for multimodal analysis on a single sample."

"Today's announcement is an important milestone in the continued growth of DESI to the benefit of scientists around the globe. We congratulate Justin and the Prosolia team for their accomplishments and look forward to collaborating with Waters as it takes DESI into the future," commented Cooks in the press release.

As the technology transitions from Prosolia to Waters, Prosolia will also continue to supply DESI technology for certain non-Waters mass spectrometer configurations until Sept. 30, 2019.

Source: Waters