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Novartis to Acquire Genoptix for $470M

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Novartis has signed a definitive agreement to acquire personalized diagnostics lab services firm Genoptix for approximately $470 million.

Novartis will pay $25 per share in cash for all of the outstanding shares of the Carlsbad, Calif.-based company. The purchase price represents an approximately 27 percent premium to Genoptix's Friday closing price on the Nasdaq of $19.76.

The acquisition will provide Novartis with a lab testing services business that focuses on cancers of the blood and solid tumors. Genoptix uses a variety of technologies, including flow cytometry, cytogenetics, FISH, and molecular tests to provide personalized diagnostic results. Through its flagship Compass service, Genoptix correlates DNA sequencing results with these technologies to arrive at a patient-specific diagnosis.

Genoptix CEO Tina Nova said that the firm would become part of the Novartis Molecular Diagnostics unit.

Genoptix's board recommended that the firm's shareholders tender their shares in the deal. The firms expect to close the transaction in the first half of this year.

In a research note issued this morning, Mizuho Securities Analyst Peter Lawson wrote," The acquisition fits in with Noavrtis' partnership with Gen-Probe for blood screening, and complements their hematology oncology drug franchises, namely Gleevec for leukemia."

Novartis launched its MDx unit around two years ago in an effort to improve co-development of drugs with companion diagnostics. The firm has since inked a handful of alliances aimed at furthering its strategy in the MDx field, including a recent alliance with Foundation Medicine.