Skip to main content

FTC Seeks To Nix Cytyc s Acquisition of Digene

NEW YORK, June 25-The Federal Trade Commission yesterday said it would seek to block Cytyc's acquisition of Digene as a violation of federal antitrust laws.


The acquisition, said the FTC, would lead to decreased competition in the highly concentrated market for cervical cancer diagnostics.


FTC staff will now seek a court injunction to block the purchase, and plan to file a motion with the federal district courts by Thursday, June 27.


Liquid Pap tests are the most commonly used primary screen for cervical cancer, and Cytyc dominates this market with a 93 percent share. Digene is the only U.S. company to offer a DNA-based diagnostic for human papilloma virus, the pathogen believed to cause the disease.


Digene's HPV test is now only offered as a follow-up to clarify Pap test results, but the company is seeking permission to market the test as a primary screen in conjunction with a traditional Pap smear, and as a stand-alone test.


Cytyc announced its plans to acquire Digenein February.


By mid-morning today, Cytyc shares had plummeted nearly 30 percent from yesterday's close, slipping from $11.46 yesterday to $8.05 this morning. Digene's share price had fallen from $12.69 at yesterday's close to $10.85 mid-morning today, down 14.5 percent.

The Scan

WHO OKs Emergency Use of Sinopharm Vaccine

The World Health Organization has granted emergency approval for Sinopharm's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, the Guardian reports.

Scientific Integrity Panel to Meet

According to the Associated Press, a new US scientific integrity panel is to meet later this week.

Trying in the Eye

NPR reports that a study of Editas Medicine's CRISPR therapy for Leber congenital amaurosis has begun.

PLOS Papers on Cerebellum Epigenetics, Copy Number Signature Tool, Acute Lung Injury Networks

In PLOS this week: epigenetics analysis of brain tissue, bioinformatics tool to find copy number signatures in cancer, and more.