27-Jun-2018 - Bruker Corporation

Bruker acquires Hamburg-based sensor start-up

Thanks to its innovative, patented sensor technologies, a portfolio company in the High-Tech Gründerfond (HTGF) has reached market maturity: USA’s Bruker Corporation has taken over Hamburg startup Sierra Sensors GmbH. Sierra Sensors develop and distribute biosensor-based analytical tools and materials for pharmaceutical research. In addition, the company combines innovative microfluidic (Hydrodynamic Isolation™) with high-sensitivity Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR+) for measuring molecular binding kinetics.

Sierra Sensors’ innovative biosensors are based upon the Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) method. Their MASS-2 instrument can examine thousands of microfluidic samples a day with excellent sensitivity, thus measuring the specifity, affinity, kinetic rates and thermodynamic molecular interactions. Sierra Sensors’ patented technologies are setting a new standard in high-throughput analysis and mark-free high-performance analysis. Combined with innovative microfluidics, real-time array SPR+ can accelerate pharmaceutical research.

New dimensions for pharmaceutical research

The Bruker Corporation develops and distributes high-performance scientific instruments and high-quality analytical and diagnostic solutions for scientists. The takeover is a strategic addition of the biopharma solutions portfolio. Sierra Sensors’ devices expand the portfolio of mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance and x-ray crystallography systems for pharmaceutical research. For Bruker, Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) technology is an addition to their MALDI PharmaPulse® ultra high throughput screening (UHTS) mass spectrometry solution for large-scale primary and secondary screens.

With this takeover, Bruker aims to distribute this product worldwide while making Hamburg their new competence centre for further product and application development. “The combination of Sierra Sensors’ creative energy and highly innovative systems and Bruker’s distribution network and longstanding experience offers a fantastic added-value for life scientists, and will pioneer new opportunities for the development of effective medicines at lower costs”, explains Dr Michael Brandkamp, Managing Director of High-Tech Gründerfonds.

Dr Brandkamp supervised the Sierra Sensors investment on behalf of Dr Caroline Fichtner, and represented HTGF during the exit negotiations. He was convinced by the investment’s potential from the get-go, and considers it visionary. He sees the takeover as a huge success: “Now scientists throughout the world will have a tool at their disposal that will aid the research and development of improved treatments and medicines – and in doing so, improve the quality of life for people and find answers to the medical challenges that lie ahead.”

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