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Roche Acquires Nimblegen to Gain Entry into High-Growth Research Microarrray Market

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Roche and NimbleGen Systems Inc. has 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,” Schwan said.

“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,” Rose continued.

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 Science’s 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.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2007, subject to approval by NimbleGen's shareholders and regulatory clearance.