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Qiagen to Acquire Key Assets of LumiCyte, Inc.

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News

Qiagen to Acquire Key Assets of LumiCyte, Inc.

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Qiagen N.V has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire key assets of LumiCyte, Inc. (LCI). LC has developed and recently initiated marketing of the products based on its STS- (Surface Tension Segmented) Biochip™ sample preparation solution for MALDI Mass Spectrometry. According to the Company, this sample preparation solution is compatible with mass spectrometry instruments and creates a dimension of detection capabilities on such mass spectrometers by allowing samples, such as peptides and proteins, to be simultaneously separated into classes and concentrated "on-chip".

MALDI -Mass Spectrometry has become the important analytical tool in the identification of proteins and evaluation of their role in biological processes in the areas of proteomics, drug discovery, and biomarker identification. For a MALDI mass measurement, analytes must be incorporated into UV-light-absorbing matrix crystals. In addition to often lacking a sufficient concentration of proteins to achieve high enough MS sensitivity, this process can be disturbed by contaminants such as detergents and salts. Therefore, the combination of efficient separation and concentration in a single step is a key and previously unmet need.

According to LCI, it has created a product portfolio which combines the separation and concentration of proteins and peptides from complex mixtures. Its approach includes utilizing a combination of surface chemistry with nanotechnology on a single mass spectrometry sample chip. Through this approach, large samples dry down through various affinity surfaces to a non-binding, molecularly flat, analysis zone, resulting in an up to 1,000-fold increased sensitivity and reproducibility in MS applications.

"We have utilized LumiCyte's STS chips with our high-end ABI mass spectrometers and have achieved dramatically better limits of detection. The results have been fantastic. Also, we are very excited about our recent results with STS affinity surfaces", stated Professor Mark Baker.

Subject to the terms of the acquisition agreement, Qiagen will pay approximately US$3 million cash up-front for of the key assets of LumiCyte, Inc. Additional considerations of approximately US$4 million and US$5 million will be paid after 18 and 30 months, respectively, subject to reaching certain financial targets. An additional milestone of US$ 4 million could be paid during the 60 months following the transaction upon reaching a significant financial target. In total, the cumulative consideration paid is expected to amount to less than 3x annual net sales of the acquired products during the first 18 months after the purchase, and thereafter, expected to represent a significantly lower and declining multiple of the annual net sales.

Qiagen anticipates that the transaction will add approximately US$2.0 million in net sales and will have a slightly dilutive impact of approximately US$0.5 million on Qiagen's net income in 2006 and will be accretive thereafter. Qiagen expects rapid growth of its products for sample preparation for MALDI mass spectrometry following their introduction in 2006.

"LCI's on-chip sample preparation product portfolio for MALDI-MS fits perfectly with Qiagen's leadership in sample preparation for proteomics and generates exciting synergies with Qiagen's current, leading technologies and products in protein sample preparation, including our Qproteome and QIAexpress product lines. Through this acquisition we are extending our sample preparation leadership into the rapidly growing area of sample preparation for MALDI-MS," said Peer M. Schatz, Qiagen's Chief Executive Officer.

"STS-Biochip™ is a powerful new platform for the analysis of proteins and protein fragments in a wide variety of biological pursuits," said John D. D. Kohler, Chief Executive Officer of LumiCyte. "The basic design of STS is extensible to many affinity surfaces and will provide, by far, the broadest offering of affinity chemistries of any protein bio-chip on the market. We are very excited to team up with Qiagen. Qiagen is clearly the best partner to maximize the significant value of STS-Biochip™ technology as a preanalytical tool for MALDI mass spectrometry analysis."
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