Agilent snaps up Cork-based Luxcel Biosciences

Luxcel provides real-time kinetic fluorescence-based in vitro live-cell test kits

Dr Richard Fernandes, chief executive and co-founder of Luxcel: “We are a young and motivated group,” he says

Dr Richard Fernandes, chief executive and co-founder of Luxcel: “We are a young and motivated group,” he says


Luxcel Biosciences, a Cork-based company that had developed innovative technology to monitor the growth and viability of cells for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical safety, has been acquired by Aglient Technologies for an undisclosed sum.

Founded as a spin-out company from University College Cork by Dr Richard Fernandes and Prof Dmitri Papkovsky in 2002, Luxcel is a provider of cost effective and easy-to-use fluorescence-based in vitro cell test kits, targeting cell metabolism, bioenergetics and drug toxicity applications.

Scientists typically use the company’s technology to understand the roll of cell metabolism across a variety of important research areas including cancer, metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disease, immunology and infectious disease.

The Luxcel team is to remain in Cork following the deal and will form a dedicated sensor chemistries and bioassay solutions group within Agilent’s cell analysis division.

“We are a young and motivated group,” said Richard Fernandes, chief executive of Luxcel.

“When Agilent approached us, it was clear to me that we have a shared passion for innovation designed to enable and support customers. Together, we have the potential to accelerate new product introductions by leveraging Agilent’s R&D and global commercial infrastructures with our unique biosensor chemistries and assay development expertise.”

California-headquartered Agilent, which entered the cell analysis market in 2015 with the acquisition of Seahorse Bioscience, said the Luxcel deal would expand its cell analysis portfolio with the addition of assay kits that are compatible with industry standard plate-readers.

“Technological advancements allowing researchers to examine cell health and function kinetically and in real-time are driving global demand for complete cell analysis solutions,” said Todd Christian, general manager of Agilent’s Cell Analysis Division.

“Luxcel’s assay kits are optimised for standard fluorescent plate readers for broad customer application helping to address this growing demand,” he added.

Aglient, which employs 13,500 people worldwide and generated revenues of $4.47 billion last year, is a public research, development and manufacturing company that was established in 1999 as a spin-off from Hewlett-Packard.