Agilent acquires Raman spectroscopy firm | July 17, 2017 Issue - Vol. 95 Issue 29 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 95 Issue 29 | p. 14 | News of The Week
Issue Date: July 17, 2017 | Web Date: July 12, 2017

Agilent acquires Raman spectroscopy firm

Purchase of Cobalt Light Systems market Agilent’s entry into Raman market
Department: Business
News Channels: Analytical SCENE
Keywords: instrumentation, Raman spectroscopy, pharmaceuticals, explosives
Cobalt’s product line includes this hand-held device.
Credit: Cobalt Light Systems
A photo of a hand-held Raman spectrometer from Cobalt.
Cobalt’s product line includes this hand-held device.
Credit: Cobalt Light Systems

Agilent Technologies has entered the Raman spectroscopy market with the acquisition of the British firm Cobalt Light Systems for about $52 million.

Based in Oxfordshire, England, Cobalt was formed in 2008 as a spin-off from the U.K. Science & Technology Facilities Council. Today it has 52 employees and claims as customers 20 of the 25 largest drug companies and more than 75 airports across Europe and Asia.

Cobalt’s products are benchtop and portable Raman spectrometers that allow identification of chemicals and materials without opening containers. Applications include materials identification in pharmaceutical quality control and screening of containers for explosives in airport security checks.

Conventional spectroscopy is poor at detecting materials through sealed, nontransparent containers.

With the acquisition, Agilent gets Cobalt’s spatially offset Raman spectroscopy (SORS) technology. Invented by a group at the Science & Technology Facilities Council that included Cobalt’s chief scientific officer, Pavel Matousek, SORS uses two or more measurements to obtain greater Raman contribution from the contents than the container.

A second Cobalt technology, transmission Raman spectroscopy (TRS), is an alternative to conventional chemistry-based analytical testing such as HPLC. TRS takes seconds per drug tablet or capsule and does not require preparative steps, the firm says.

Paul Loeffen, Cobalt’s CEO, says the combination of his firm’s patented technology with Agilent’s product-development know-how, manufacturing skills, and customer base “will allow us to scale our operations to take advantage of this rapidly growing market.”

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © American Chemical Society

Leave A Comment

*Required to comment