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Cytyc Extends Offer for Digene After FTC Asks for More Information

NEW YORK, March 28 - Cytyc will extend the expiration date of its offer to acquire Digene after the US Federal Trade Commission asked the company for more information about the proposed deal.

The exchange offer, originally slated to expire on March 28, will now end on April 11.

Cytyc in February announced plans to acquire Digene in a stock and cash deal worth $77 million.  Under the deal, Cytyc will issue 23 million shares of common stock, and Digene shareholders will receive $4.00 in cash and 1.1969 shares of Cytyc for each share of Digene owned.

Both Cytyc, of Boxborough, Mass., and Digene develop diagnostics related to cervical cancer: Cytyc is working on an automated system for pap testing, and Digene's test detects human papilloma virus, which is linked to cervical cancer.

The acquisition will allow the Cytyc collection system and the Digene hybrid capture testing technology to be combined, said Cytyc chief executive officer Patrick Sullivan in a statement. According to the company, that combined approach has shown to be useful for patients with borderline cytology results.

Digene, based in Gaithersburg, Md., uses genomics research to develop tests for sexually transmitted diseases and other conditions.