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    Repligen agrees to buy Spectrum for $359 million

    Waltham life sciences company Repligen Corp., which sells products that help biotechs clear and purify drugs, Friday said it has agreed to pay $359 million to acquire privately held filtration company Spectrum Laboratories Inc.

    The proposed deal, which includes a cash payment of $120 million along with 6.1 million shares of Repligen stock, will strengthen Repligen’s position in bioprocess filtration, a key component of the fast-growing biomanufacturing sector.

    Spectrum, based in Rancho Dominguez, Calif., makes products used for the filtration, isolation, purification, and concentration of protein-based drugs known as monoclonal antibodies along with vaccines and cell therapies. It rang up sales of $40.2 million last year.

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    Repligen, traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange, has acquired four other companies in the past five years in a move to increase scale. Last December, the Waltham company paid nearly $40 million to buy TangenX Technology Corp., a Shrewsbury company that makes similar equipment.

    Robert Weisman can be reached at robert.weisman@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeRobW.