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ABI Acquires Boston Probes and PNA-Diagnostics

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 5 – Applied Biosystems acquired Boston Probes, a developer of peptide nucleic acid probes, the companies announced Monday.

Applied Biosystems added 87 percent of outstanding Boston Probes shares acquired in the agreement to the 13 percent it already owned of the privately-held Bedford, Mass.-based company. In the deal, Foster City, Calif.-based Applied Biosystems paid $32.8 million in cash for Boston Probes and Denmark-based PNA-Diagnostics, a company that holds intellectual property rights related to peptide nucleic acids, according to the companies. Applied Biosystems purchased both companies from the Danish diagnostics company Dako A/S.

The combined acquired technology, including probes for gene expression, analysis of SNPs, detection of pathogens, and genetic analysis, will be used in Applied Biosystems' Sequence Detection Systems (SDS), a platform for real-time analysis of genetic information, the company said.

Details of the integration of the new companies, such as location choice and technological issues, were not disclosed. Applied Biosystems said Boston Probes employees would join Applied Biosystems, though the company did no offer a schedule for staff integration.

“The Boston Probes PNA technology is expected to expand our current broad-based set of probe-based detection chemistry tools for drug discovery,” Michael Hunkapiller, president of Applied Biosystems, said in a statement. 

In October, Applied Biosystems reported a 34 percent drop in first quarter profits compared to the year-ago quarter.

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