BioLife Solutions Acquires Astero Bio Corporation And ThawSTAR Assets For $8 Million

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BioLife Solutions, Inc., has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Astero Bio Corporation, a privately-held innovator in the design, development and commercialization of novel automated thawing devices, for an upfront cash payment of $8.0 million.

BioLife Solutions, founded in 1987, headquartered in the Greater Seattle Area, west coast USA, is the leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of proprietary biopreservation media for cells and tissues. According to the company, HypoThermosol® hypothermic storage and CryoStor® cryopreservation freeze media are highly valued in the regenerative medicine, biobanking and drug discovery markets. These novel biopreservation media products are serum-free and protein-free, fully defined, and are formulated to reduce preservation-induced cell damage and death; offering commercial companies and clinical researchers significant improvement in shelf life and post-preservation viability and function.

Founded in 2018, based in Menlo Park, California, Astero Bio Corporation is a leader in novel tools and technologies for life science research, pharmaceutical manufacturing and clinical applications. Astero specializes in the development and commercialization of next-generation tools to aid in multiple stages of the lifecycles of biologics. Astero’s ThawSTAR® Automated Cell Thawing Systems are designed to replace uncontrolled and highly variable manual methods, de-risking the therapeutic cell thawing process and optimizing cell efficacy. An industry first, ThawSTAR systems optimize cell thawing using a customizable algorithm for each unique cell therapy product and protocol. These systems, combined with Astero’s ultra-low temperature cold storage and transport solutions, advance the physical management of biologics by providing safe, controlled and scalable processing of temperature-sensitive samples and products.

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“The addition of Astero’s products supports our mission of building a broader cell and gene therapy tools company that we believe will offer more value to our customers in the high-growth regenerative medicine market. Reimbursement of cell and gene therapies is evolving into a “pay on cure” paradigm, with payment predicated on a positive patient response. Like our biopreservation media products, Astero products mitigate the risk of administering a non-viable dose. The synergies in this transaction include targeting the same customer base.” – Mike Rice, BioLife CEO

“We are thrilled to join the BioLife team.” … “We’ve known the Company and its leadership for many years and have admired their thoughtful strategy and crisp execution. As a result, CryoStor® and HypoThermosol® are the de facto standard for cell and gene therapy biopreservation media. No doubt the ThawSTAR® product line will benefit from leveraging Biolife’s sales and marketing capabilities and the reputation of Aby J. Mathew, Ph.D., BioLife’s CTO, in the regenerative medicine scientific community.” – Astero CEO and co-founder Samuel Kent, who will join BioLife upon closing of the deal as Vice President, Thaw Technology Sales