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Abbott Exercises Option to Buy Ibis for $215M

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Abbott has exercised an option to acquire the remaining 81.4 percent stake of Ibis Biosciences that it didn’t already own for $175 million.
Earlier this year, Abbott acquired an 18.6 percent stake in Ibis, which is the molecular diagnostics subsidiary of Isis Pharmaceuticals, in two tranches for $40 million. At that time, it took an exclusive option to acquire the remaining interest in Ibis by June 30, 2009, for $175 million to $195 million, plus an earn-out tied to sales of instruments and assay kits.
Ibis sells the Ibis T5000 Biosensor System, which is used for rapid identification and characterization of infectious agents. According to Ibis, the system interrogates common sequences among common classes or organisms and can identify “virtually all bacteria, viruses and fungi, and can provide information about drug resistance, virulence, and strain type of these pathogens within a few hours.”
The T5000 Biosensor System includes a Bruker Daltonics microTOF electrospray ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometer and a Thermo Fisher Scientific CataLyst Express robotic arm and plate holders that can accommodate up to fifteen each of 96-well plates, magnetic bead plates, and analysis plates.
“The broad applicability of Ibis' technology has been demonstrated in biodefense applications, microbial forensics and infectious disease detection and surveillance, and we believe that it has the potential to be a powerful tool in the detection and surveillance of infectious diseases in the hospital and clinical settings," Stafford O'Kelly, VP of molecular diagnostics for Abbott, said in a statement.
An Abbott official told GenomeWeb Daily News at the annual meeting of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry in July that the firm was likely to exercise its option to acquire Ibis at the end of this year. The Ibis system is currently used for research purposes but Abbott Executive Vice President of Diagnostics Edward Michael said at the AACC meeting that Abbott could help in further developing the system and seeking regulatory clearance for clinical diagnostic uses.
Closing of the acquisition is subject to the terms and conditions of a stock purchase agreement signed by the parties and clearance from US antitrust authorities.

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