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Invitrogen Announces Acquisition of CellzDirect

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Invitrogen Corporation has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase privately-held CellzDirect, Inc., based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, in a cash transaction for approximately $57 million.

CellzDirect provides hepatocyte-based cell products and related services used in the testing of new drugs. Primary human hepatocytes are the most accepted model for predicting a compound’s effects on enzymatic metabolism in the liver. Such testing, recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), can prevent costly failures in clinical trials.

For this reason, CellzDirect’s products are mainly used by pharmaceutical and biotech companies in research and development. Primary hepatocytes are also used in biomedical research to study liver diseases and to understand downstream implications of cellular function.

“CellzDirect’s high-value products and services will greatly complement Invitrogen’s market-leading portfolio of complete cell systems, including primary cells, media, matrices and growth factors,” said Greg Lucier, Invitrogen’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “The purchase of CellzDirect follows our strategy of investing in high growth areas of the market, specifically specialty cell systems.”

CellzDirect was founded in 2001 and employs approximately 90 people at its sites in North Carolina and Austin, Texas. Twelve month revenue for calendar year 2007 is expected to be approximately $18 million.

“Combining with Invitrogen will enhance our already strong position in the primary cell market,” said Scott Edelman, CellzDirect’s Chief Executive Officer. “We expect CellzDirect’s growth rates to benefit from cross-promotion and combination with Invitrogen’s technologies for cell culture, molecular biology, and fluorescent detection, and from Invitrogen’s world-class sales, marketing, and distribution capabilities.”