Charles River Laboratories International has signed a definitive agreement to acquire cellular products developer HemaCare for a cash consideration of approximately $380m.

HemaCare manufactures human-derived cellular products for use in cell therapies.

In addition to biomaterials supply, the company provides processing services to discover, develop and manufacture cell therapies, including allogeneic and autologous candidates.

HemaCare is expected to complement Charles River’s discovery, safety assessment and manufacturing support services. Charles River intends to leverage the deal to help cell therapy developers and manufacturers speed-up their cell therapy programmes.

The combination of the companies’ will create a cell therapy solution that will aid from discovery through commercialisation.

Charles River Laboratories chairman, president and CEO James Foster said: “In order to continue to enhance our ability to support our clients’ research efforts, particularly in biologics discovery and development, we are expanding our scientific capabilities in this emerging, high-growth market with the acquisition of HemaCare.

“The addition of HemaCare’s innovative cell therapy products and services to our integrated, early-stage solutions will create a unique, go-to partner for clients to work with Charles River across a comprehensive cell therapy portfolio from idea to novel therapeutic.”

HemaCare will expand its high-growth cell therapy solutions, which contribute nearly $100m to its annual revenue, added Charles River.

Furthermore, the growth of cell therapy market is expected to increase the addressable market for HemaCare’s products from the current $200m to approximately $2bn by 2030.

HemaCare president and CEO Pete van der Wal said: “Partnering with Charles River will strengthen the value proposition for our clients, enabling them to work seamlessly with one scientific partner to enhance the speed and efficiency with which they can advance their cell therapies. The transaction will offer compelling value to our shareholders.”

The board of directors of both the companies have approved the acquisition, along with some of HemaCare’s directors, officers and shareholders.

However, the deal remains subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, set to close in the first quarter of next year.