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10X Genomics acquires Swedish Cartana

Malte Kühnemund

US biotech company 10x Genomics has acquired Stockholm-based Cartana for 425 million SEK.

The deal was made for a total of $41.2 million (425 million SEK) which includes a $7 million earnout. Cartana, which is currently located at Karolinska Institutet, will continue to be based in Stockholm.

“Our team has been focused on developing In Situ technologies for a number of years, starting with work at Stockholm University and Karolinska Institute,” says Malte Kuhnemund, co-founder and EVP of R&D at Cartana. “We are thrilled to join 10x and become a part of their Swedish research center in Stockholm as we continue to build and deliver products for scientists around the globe.”

A resolution all the way down to the single cell level

Cartana, founded in 2017, is developing a technology that maps the brain based on cell analysis and image data with a resolution all the way down to the single cell level. The product, called NeuroKit, is an optimized reagent kit that enables the mapping of hundreds of genes and cell types via In Situ Sequencing (ISS) in a single tissue section with high throughput and high sensitivity. The company was able to increase the pace of its neurology product development and, at the same time, launched their second product in oncology in 2020.

CartaNA came out of work from Mats Nilsson’s SciLife Lab at Stockholm University. In connection with the acquisitions, George Church and Mats Nilsson will become scientific advisors to 10x Genomics.

Key technology advances

The acquisition will give 10x Genomics comprehensive and foundational intellectual property; key technology advances; and deep talent and expertise in the emerging In Situ field, it states. In Situ approaches will give scientists the ability to measure large numbers of molecules directly in tissue by capturing the precise location of those molecules at sub-cellular resolution. These approaches are complementary to the company’s existing Chromium Single Cell and Visium Spatial platforms. With In Situ, 10x Genomics expects to significantly extend its product roadmap to establish the foundation for a third technology platform. In addition to supporting discoveries made by the Chromium and Visium platforms, In Situ will broaden the range of customers and enable new translational and clinical applications.

10x Genomics will fund the transaction with a combination of cash from its balance sheet as well as stock. The acquisition has been fully completed.

Photo of Malte Kühnemund