Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced the acquisition of e-MSion, an early-stage company behind the innovative electron capture dissociation (ECD) technology known as the ExD cell. 

The ExD cell is a compact device for mass spectrometers that enables biological researchers to develop biotherapeutic products more quickly to treat disease. This is done by more comprehensively and precisely breaking the chemical bonds of complex biomolecules, enabling more complete, accurate, and detailed structural information to be obtained from them.

“The talented team at e-MSion has created an important technology in accelerating biopharma development,” said Jacob Thaysen, president of Agilent’s Life Sciences and Applied Markets Group (LSAG). “We are excited to integrate the ExD cell into our portfolio of advanced workflows, instruments, and analytical solutions for biotherapeutic characterization and development. Our customers will see tangible benefits from these unmatched capabilities.”

The ExD cell is compatible with instruments common in many labs, such as Agilent’s 6500 LC/Q-TOF series, which will make this powerful characterization technology—previously limited to only a few high-end mass spectrometers—more accessible to a larger share of labs and biopharma researchers worldwide.

In more technical terms, the ExD cell enables electron capture dissociation (ECD) and other modes of electron-induced fragmentation in benchtop mass spectrometers. Because of its superior characterization of larger proteins, protein fragments, and their amino-acid modifications, ECD is preferred over other dissociation techniques including collision-induced dissociation (CID), which is the dominant methodology used today.

Agilent has worked closely with e-MSion for several years and has offered the company’s ExD cell technology with its 6500 series since 2019. e-MSion was founded by Oregon State University scientists, who developed the ExD cell.

“Joining Agilent will enable seamless integration of innovative e-MSion ExD technology, data analysis, and visualization tools with Agilent’s powerful LC-QTOF instrumentation to more completely analyze macromolecules and to accelerate biopharma therapeutic discovery and development,” said Joe Beckman, president and CEO of e-MSion.

The acquisition complements Agilent’s growing biopharma solutions, including new oligonucleotide analysis software for biopharma research, broader offerings for GPC/SEC polymer analysis, the AssayMAP Bravo Protein Sample Prep Workbench 4.0, and investments in therapeutic oligonucleotide manufacturing. Learn more about Agilent’s biopharma solutions on