St. Louis startup Pluton Biosciences, Inc. is pleased to announce that it has acquired Microbe Inotech Laboratories (MiL), Inc., a full-service microbiological lab also headquartered in St. Louis. The 29-year-old laboratory is now Pluton MiL, LLC, a division of Pluton Biosciences.
The acquisition quantitatively accelerates the path to market for Pluton. MiL’s custom pathogen testing capabilities and identification expertise provide Pluton a foundation to build out its Micromining® microbial discovery platform while providing contract lab discovery and testing.
Pluton CEO Charlie Walch says the team is energized by the acquisition, which will escalate Pluton’s efforts to find sustainable solutions to some of the world’s most challenging problems using its Micromining platform. Pluton screens billions of microorganisms in diverse soil samples to find new bacteria, fungi and viruses to solve important environmental and medical problems. Pluton’s first discovery was new bacteria (patent pending) to kill the mosquito Aedes aegypti, which carries a number of deadly viral diseases, most prominently Zika, Dengue and Yellow Fever.
MiL specializes in the testing and identifying of contaminants and pathogens in environmental samples such as soil, water and food for six distinct laboratory sectors: environmental, food safety, industrial, pharmaceutical, plant science and governmental. The company has 100+ customers that range in size from small manufacturers to Fortune 500 companies.
“MiL has the same lab set up, equipment and procedures that we use to find beneficial microbes in environmental samples like soil and water, so from a science standpoint, it was a turnkey operation for Pluton to continue its work Micromining nature’s solutions,” said Walch. “On the business side, the pathogen testing and contaminate identification performed by MiL gives Pluton an immediate revenue stream while we license our microbial discoveries to replace synthetic pesticides with safe and effective natural products.”
Business broker Metro Business Advisors was retained to facilitate a succession plan for the Founder and CEO of MiL, Dr. Bruce C. Hemming, who will remain a minority investor in the combined entity and a member of its Science Advisory Board. Two MiL laboratory technicians have accepted positions at Pluton MiL.
“Bringing these companies together in such a mutually-beneficial relationship with the potential for far-reaching scientific advances is rewarding, and it’s also been quite educational,” said Dave Driscoll, president of Metro Business Advisors.