Acquisition strengthens presence in genomics research market
Roche and NimbleGen Systems Inc. today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement under which Roche will acquire 100% of NimbleGen, a privately held, Madison, Wisconsin, USA-based company active in high-density DNA microarrays. DNA microarrays are a widely used discovery and research tool in pharma research for the understanding of genetic causes of disease and predisposition factors, comparative genomic analysis and identification of potential drug targets. Under the terms of the agreement, Roche will pay NimbleGen’s shareholders 272.5 million US dollars.
“This acquisition represents a further milestone in our strategy to strengthen our position as a major player and complete solution provider in the genomics research market by extending our activities into the microarray segment,” said Severin Schwan, CEO Division Roche Diagnostics. “The Array Systems from NimbleGen are highly synergistic and will complement the existing Roche portfolio of innovative genomic research tools such as the LightCycler qPCR systems and the high-throughput Sequencing Systems from the recently acquired company 454 Life Sciences.”
“Roche is one of the premiere life science companies, and NimbleGen is delighted to become part of the exciting story of growth and innovation occurring at Roche,” said Dr. Stan Rose, CEO of NimbleGen. “Joining Roche will accelerate and broaden NimbleGen’s opportunities with our high density DNA microarray business as well as with new technologies focused on targeted DNA sequencing.”
NimbleGen will become a fully integrated part of Roche Applied Science, a global business area of the Diagnostic Division of Roche. The company will continue to develop and market powerful array systems through Roche Applied Sciences extensive worldwide sales and distribution network. NimbleGen will be further expanding its product portfolio in the near future to include higher density arrays, integrated instrument systems, and related reagents and consumables for advanced genome analysis. Roche plans to maintain the current NimbleGen facilities in Madison, WI, USA, Reykjavik, Iceland, and Waldkraiburg, Germany as well as the company’s 140 employees.
Worldwide, the micro array systems market has a size of about $ 600 Million and showed 10% growth in 2006.
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2007, subject to approval by NimbleGen’s shareholders and regulatory clearance.
NimbleGen Systems is a leading innovator, manufacturer and supplier of a proprietary suite of DNA microarrays, consumables, instruments and services. NimbleGen uniquely produces high-density arrays of long oligo probes that provide greater information content and higher data quality necessary for studying the full diversity of genomic and epigenomic variation. NimbleGen is enabling a new era of High-Definition Genomics by providing scientists with cost-effective, high-throughput tools for extracting and integrating complex data on important forms of genomic and epigenomic variation not previously accessible on a genome-wide scale. Scientists can thus obtain a clearer understanding of genomic and epigenomic structure and function and how they impact biology and medicine. This improved performance is made possible by NimbleGen’s proprietary Maskless Array Synthesis (MAS) technology, which uses digital light processing and rapid, high-yield photochemistry to synthesize long oligo, high-density DNA microarrays with extreme flexibility. For more information about NimbleGen, please visit the company’s website at www.nimblegen.com.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world’s leading research-focused healthcare groups in the fields of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. As the global leader in biotechnology, Roche contributes on a broad range of fronts to improving people’s health and quality of life by supplying innovative products and services for the early detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Roche is the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, the leading supplier of drugs for cancer and transplantation and a market leader in virology. It is also engaged in other important therapeutic areas including autoimmune, inflammatory and metabolic disease and diseases of the central nervous system. In 2006 sales by the Pharmaceuticals Division totalled 33.3 billion Swiss francs, and the Diagnostics Division posted sales of 8.7 billion Swiss francs. Roche employs roughly 75,000 people worldwide and has R&D agreements and strategic alliances with numerous partners, including majority ownership interests in Genentech and Chugai. Additional information about the Roche Group is available on the Internet at www.roche.com.
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