NEW YORK, July 10 – Molecular Devices has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cytion, a Swiss developer of drug screening technology, for $7.5 million in cash and 400,000 shares of Molecular Devices stock, Molecular Devices said Tuesday.
Cytion, based in Epalinges, Switzerland, has developed a technique using automated patch clamping for analyzing ion channels, a class of proteins important as drug targets.
In addition to the upfront cash and stock payments, Molecular Devices will also make cash payments to Cytion shareholders if the company achieves certain undisclosed milestones.
Molecular Devices, a maker of systems designed to automate drug discovery tasks, said that next year the company hopes to launch its own products for performing electrophysiological research, including the study of ion channels.
"We believe that technologies for higher throughput, information-rich ion channel testing represent an important scientific innovation and a substantial market opportunity, said Joseph Keegan, CEO of Molecular Devices, in a statement. “We are very excited about the agreement to acquire Cytion, a leading developer of automated patch clamping technology that is well-positioned to address this unmet customer need.”
In April, shares of Molecular Devices plunged 58 percent after the company announced disappointing earnings.