Applied Biosystems to Acquire Agencourt Personal Genomics
News May 31, 2006
Applied Biosystems Group, an Applera Corporation business, and Agencourt Personal Genomics (APG) have announced they have signed a definitive agreement whereby Applied Biosystems will acquire APG for approximately $120 million in cash.
The transaction is subject to regulatory and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the third calendar quarter of 2006.
APG's massively parallel fluorescence sequencing by stepwise ligation technology is a high throughput approach to DNA/RNA analysis.
This technology is expected to be complementary to current Applied Biosystems platforms and applicable to many genetic analysis applications, including de novo genome sequencing, medical sequencing, high throughput gene expression, and high throughput genotyping.
Subject to timely completion of the acquisition, Applied Biosystems currently anticipates that it will place initial systems with early-access customers during calendar 2007.
Applied Biosystems currently anticipates the acquisition will be dilutive in both fiscal 2007 and 2008, primarily due to R&D spending, commercialization activities and acquisition related amortization associated with APG.
Dilution in fiscal 2007 is anticipated to be approximately $0.06 per share, excluding the impact of APG acquisition related amortization.
In fiscal 2009, the acquisition is anticipated to be accretive, excluding the impact of amortization associated with the APG acquisition.
Further information regarding the financial impact of the acquisition will be provided after Applied Biosystems completes a valuation analysis to determine the allocation of the purchase price.
"Applied Biosystems is proud of its history of bringing innovative DNA sequencing technology to the market and is dedicated to continuing to provide the very best technologies," said Catherine M. Burzik, President, Applied Biosystems.
"After conducting a thorough evaluation of more than 40 companies and academic research groups, we have concluded that APG's technology is both tested and commercializable."
"We believe it should be able to address the scientific community's goal of dramatically reducing the cost of sequencing without sacrificing quality."
"APG has the potential to expand our market by addressing multiple applications cost effectively and by combining sample preparation and analysis within a single platform."
"We are excited to work with and augment the first-class APG R&D team to commercialize this technology in a timely manner."
Kevin J. McKernan, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chief Scientific Officer of APG, said, "We are thrilled about this partnership. Applied Biosystems has a history of rapidly commercializing innovative sequencing technology."
"The Applied Biosystems product and instrument development team is exceptional and should accelerate our time to market."
"We have always recognized the value in combining Sanger sequencing technology with next-generation technology to generate new markets for DNA sequencing and this merger reflects the first step towards that ambitious goal."
The APG technology combines single tube micro-bead sample preparation with high throughput multi-color fluorescence imaging.
The sequencing chemistry uses ligation probes, an approach that provides high quality data compared to competitive polymerase-based approaches.
The ligation technology is designed to provide accuracy and does not produce homo-polymer sequencing errors that occur with some other next-generation sequencing approaches.
The APG system can use 'paired-end' reads, helpful in many genomic applications, such as pathogen sequencing and whole genome sequencing.
Currently the system generates 2x25 base pair reads with significant read length improvements anticipated.
Prototype systems presently are producing high quality sequence data. APG has applied for several patents and has multiple technology licenses.
The APG R&D team will continue to be based in Beverly, MA, and will join the Applied Biosystems' next-generation team reporting into the Molecular and Cell Biology Division of Applied Biosystems in Foster City, California.
As genome editing technologies advance toward clinical therapies, they are raising hopes of a completely new way to treat disease. However, challenges need to be addressed before potential treatments can be widely used in patients. To tackle these challenges, the National Institutes of Health has launched the Somatic Cell Genome Editing program, which has awarded multiple grants including more than $3.6 million to assess the safety of genome editing in human cells and tissues.