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Abbott to Take Minority Stake in Ibis with Option for Full Acquisition

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Abbott Laboratories will take an initial 10.25 percent stake in Isis Pharmaceuticals’ subsidiary Ibis Biosciences with an option to acquire the whole company, Isis said today.
Abbott will pay $20 million for the initial stake in the firm, and has the right to invest an additional $20 million before July 31, 2008, which would give Abbott a total stake of 18.6 percent in Ibis. In addition, Abbott will hold an exclusive option to acquire all of the remaining equity of Ibis through June 30, 2009, for $175 million to $195 million, plus an earn-out tied to sales.
The option exercise price could increase to a range between $190 million and $210 million if Ibis completes certain pre-negotiated milestones.
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.
Bruker Daltonics currently manufactures, installs, and provides service support for the systems. The firm has focused its sales efforts in Europe and the Middle East, while Ibis is primarily responsible for sales in the US.
Though the system is sold for research use only right now, Ibis intends to eventually sell it for diagnostic applications, with a focus on hospital-based infections.

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