The cancer diagnostic-equipment company Ventana Medical Systems, Tucson, Ariz., has paid $28.9 million to acquire Spring Bioscience, a Fremont, Calif.-based company specializing in antibody development.
Under the deal, Ventana has also agreed to pay Spring shareholders up to $11.7 million in additional cash incentives over the next two years provided Spring achieves specific scientific milestones.
The acquisition, according to a news release, will allow Ventana to more rapidly develop antibody reagents, which are required components of the companys diagnostic tests. It will also allow Ventana to broaden its companion diagnostic programs and services. The purchase is expected to add to Ventanas earnings beginning next year.
The deal comes at a time when Ventana may be working to raise the price of its stock in order to block a hostile takeover attempt by Roche Holding. In June, the Swiss company, which manufactures the cutting-edge breast-cancer drug Herceptin, offered to pay Ventana stockholders a total of $3 billion, or $75 per share, for the company. Roche executives said the offer represented a 45% premium over the stock price at the time, but Ventana board members said it fell far short of a price theyd consider recommending to shareholders as a selling price.
Shareholders have until Sept. 20 to accept or reject the Roche offer. -- by Shawn Rhea
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