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Novartis to acquire Genoptix

Novartis is buy the diagnostics services company Genoptix for $470m in order to obtain technologies that will support programmes in oncology

Novartis has entered into a definitive agreement to buy the diagnostics services company Genoptix for $470m in order to obtain technologies that will support and expedite the development of companion diagnostic programmes, particularly in oncology.

Novartis said it would commence a tender offer for all outstanding shares of common stock of Genoptix for $25 per share, a premium of about 40 per cent over the company's per share closing price on December 13.

Genoptix, which provides personalised diagnostic services to haematologists and oncologists, will become part of Novartis Molecular Diagnostics, a unit of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Division.

The laboratory company specialises in diagnosing cancers in bone marrow, blood and lymph nodes. Genoptix also has a BioPharm division that supports clinical trials with haematology/oncology testing to aid in assay development, patient eligibility/stratification, efficacy endpoints, and lab results interpretation.

"The acquisition of the Genoptix medical laboratory will serve as a strong foundation for our individualised treatment programmes," said Joseph Jimenez, CEO of Novartis.

Carlsbad, California-based Genoptix was founded in 1999 and currently has about 500 employees. The company had sales of $184m in 2009 and $148m in the first nine months of 2010.

Novartis said it plans to maintain Genoptix's existing operations and continue delivering its services to community-based haematologists and oncologists. The transaction has been approved by the Genoptix Board of Directors and is expected to close in the first half of this year.

24th January 2011

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