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Agilent Technologies Selling Resolution Bioscience to Exact Sciences

NEW YORK – Agilent Technologies said Tuesday that it is selling its Resolution Bioscience cancer testing business to Exact Sciences for an undisclosed sum.

Agilent CEO Mike McMullen said last month that the firm planned to shut down its Resolution Bioscience business due to disappointing sales of its kitted next-generation sequencing-based companion diagnostics. He said at the time company officials didn't "see a realistic path to profitability" for the Resolution business that Agilent had acquired for $695 million less than three years earlier.

While financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed, Agilent and Exact Sciences said on Tuesday that the financial terms are not material to either party.

Sam Raha, president of Agilent's diagnostics and genomics group, said in a statement that the Resolution Bioscience business is a good strategic fit for Exact Sciences because of Exact's leading position in advanced cancer testing.

"This agreement will enable the talented Resolution Bioscience team to continue their work advancing diagnostic solutions for their customers and patients, a very positive outcome of this transaction," he said.

"Resolution Bioscience’s high-quality liquid therapy selection platform perfectly complements our OncoExTra test, allowing Exact Sciences to help more cancer patients determine their best treatment options," Brian Baranick, Exact's general manager of precision oncology, added.

The OncoExTra test is a comprehensive NGS assay that Exact launched in February as a therapy selection test that analyzes DNA and RNA to provide a molecular profile of a patient's cancer.

Agilent had said in March 2021 it bought Resolution as part of a long-term strategy to build up liquid biopsy testing capabilities that complemented its tissue-based assays and were specific to drugs developed by its partners. In a conference call last month, Agilent CFO Bob McMahon said the company took a $291 million pre-tax charge for the fiscal third quarter and planned to draw down the company by early fiscal 2024.