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Invitrogen to buy Applied Biosystems

June 13, 2008|From Bloomberg News

SAN FRANCISCO — Invitrogen Corp., which makes technologies for disease research and drug discovery, agreed Thursday to pay $6.4 billion in cash and stock for scientific instruments maker Applera Corp.'s Applied Biosystems Group.

Carlsbad-based Invitrogen will pay $38 a share for Foster City, Calif.-based Applied Biosystems, a 17% premium to the closing price Wednesday.

The deal, which must be approved by shareholders of both companies, is expected to close this fall.

Applied Biosystems is one of several competitors in the race to develop faster, cheaper DNA analysis devices for sequencing human genes. This year, the company said it had sequenced an entire human genome for less than $60,000, down from the $3 billion spent on the Human Genome Project just five years ago.

Invitrogen makes a broad range of biochemicals and equipment used in government, academic and corporate medical research labs.

The two companies' complementary technologies would "drive the price of decoding that genome ever lower," Invitrogen Chief Executive Greg Lucier said.

The new company would take the Applied Biosystems name and be led by Lucier.

A main goal would be to develop technologies to both fuel and serve discoveries tying individuals' genetic makeup to a host of health conditions.

"Certainly the promise of personalized medicine -- getting the right drug at the right time to the right patient -- is absolutely a driver in thinking about future markets," Applied Biosystems Chief Operating Officer Mark Stevenson said.

Applied Biosystems shares rose $1.72 to $34.16; Invitrogen shares dropped $4.62 to $38.73.

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