Cognate Bioservices

Cognate BioServices, Inc. is one of the largest privately-held specialized global contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMO) developing cell-based products and therapies.

Cognate is uniquely positioned as one of the largest privately held outsourced cell and gene therapy CDMOs in an attractive and fast-growing market driven by biopharmaceutical companies’ continued investment in CAR-T, cell therapy, and gene therapy programs. Cognate’s core offerings are focused on immunotherapy, cell therapy, gene therapy, viral vectors, and DNA plasmids and are growing rapidly and projected to exceed $10 billion in sales in the coming years.

Cognate has significant experience in autologous and allogeneic cell therapies and other advanced cell therapies such as CAR-T, NK cell, TIL, MIL, and other cellular immunotherapy products.

Cobra, its wholly owned subsidiary, has deep expertise, from development to fill-finish, in viral vectors including AAV and lentivirus, DNA plasmids, microbiota, and specialized proteins, with GMP approved facilities in both Sweden and the UK, each with an extensive track record in serving a global client base.

Cognate and Cobra provide a unique combination of custom services to companies across all points of clinical and commercial development specializing in mid to late stage clinical trials. The companies support their clients through product scale-up through commercial manufacturing. Cognate and Cobra’s unique combination of manufacturing and clinical expertise has resulted in a successful operating history. The combined company is well-placed to continue its strong growth, high quality manufacturing processes, and excellent customer service.



Transaction Summary

  • In August 2019, EW invested in Cognate to fund the company’s continued growth and build out of additional manufacturing capacity and value-added development capabilities.
  • In January 2020, EW and its co-investors led a follow-on investment in Cognate to fund the acquisition of Cobra Biologics.
  • EW funded additional growth capital in January 2020 as part of the Cobra acquisition to support additional investments in clinical and commercial capacity.
  • Successfully acquired by Charles River Laboratories in March 2021 for approximately $875 million of 2020 revenue, representing a 7x revenue multiple.