The global contract research organization Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. (NYSE: CRL) is back with a new deal for Vigene Biosciences, Inc. The deal is valued at $292.5 million in cash up front, plus contingent additional payments of up to $57.5 million based on future performance. 

Vigene Biosciences is a gene therapy contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) providing viral vector-based gene delivery solutions. The acquisition of Vigene Biosciences will enhance Charles River’s gene therapy capabilities in the high-growth, value-added cell and gene therapy CDMO sector. Vigene is expected to generate annual revenue of $30 to $35 million in 2021 and is expected to grow at least 25% annually over the next five years. 

The addressable market for cell and gene therapy CDMO services, principally for cell therapy, plasmid DNA, and viral vector production, is currently estimated at approximately $2.5 billion globally and is expected to grow at least 25% annually. 

Charles Rivers Laboratories has had a busy year in the M&A market so far. The deal for Vigene is the company’s fourth, but not its largest. In February, it bought Cognate BioServices, Inc. from EW Healthcare Partners for $875 million. Much like Vigene, Cognate BioServices is a cell and gene therapy CDMO with extensive experience producing various cell types and technologies used in cellular immunotherapy and immuno-oncology, regenerative medicine and advanced cell therapy. The company’s minority shareholders include Medivate PartnersBlackRock and a sovereign wealth fund.  

With the addition of Cognate BioServices and Vigene, it looks like Charles River Laboratories’ gene and therapy platform is off a strong start.