CytoBiosciences Buys Alabama Company in ‘Multi-Million Dollar’ Deal

Xconomy Texas — 

San Antonio — CytoBioscience, a San Antonio maker of technology that’s used to screen drug formulations, has acquired Birmingham, Alabama-based Soluble Therapeutics, which sells another screening technology.

CytoBiosciences has a high-throughput device to screen a drug formulation’s safety and efficacy, helping scientists observe how multiple formulations might interact with a cell’s ion channel. Meanwhile, Soluble’s technology targets drug compounds that have already gone through that and other early screening, and its machine is used when researchers need to combine a compound with a protein to ensure the compound will be soluble in a living organism, according to CytoBiosciences CEO James Garvin.

“That technology focuses on finding the right solubility with the right protein with that compound,” Garvin wrote in an e-mail. “Two different technologies at two different ends of the drug development spectrum.”

Though exact terms weren’t released, CytoBioscience says it was a “multi-million dollar” purchase price, according to a news release. CytoBioscience is changing the acquired company’s name to Soluble BioScience, and plans to move its operations—including its eight employees—to San Antonio within a year, according to the statement.

“This is about broadening our commercial footprint in the pharma space and enlarging our scientific team,” Garvin wrote in the e-mail. “We plan on continuing to sell both technologies as the client base is exactly the same.”

Soluble was founded in 2008 and licensed its technology, known as HSC, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. CytoBioscience, which changed its name 12 days ago, was founded in Germany and moved to San Antonio in 2015.

Both companies share a venture capital investor: San Antonio-based Targeted Technology. CytoBioscience has raised $15.8 million from some 11 investors since 2015, including Targeted Technology, according to a regulatory filing.

Targeted Technology first invested in Soluble in 2011, participating in a $1 million round along with The Birmingham Technology Fund and Greer Capital. The San Antonio firm also joined in a venture funding in 2013, but the amount wasn’t disclosed.