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Nanogen to Buy Italian Dx Shop for $10M, Will Form New Dx Division for Euro, Mid-East, Asian Markets

NEW YORK, April 20 (GenomeWeb News) - Nanogen today said it will acquire the diagnostics division of Italy-based Amplimedical for €8.1 million ($10 million) in cash and stock.


Amplimedical, a wholly owned subsidiary of hearing aid manufacturer Amplifon, plays in the real-time PCR and other molecular diagnostic markets with regulatory-approved products, and Nanogen hopes to align its technologies with its MGB Alert real-time PCR systems to expand its molecular diagnostics footprint.


"Acquiring the ability to reach a broader European customer base constitutes an exciting opportunity that will further Nanogen's growth and progress toward profitability," Nanogen Chairman and CEO Howard Birndorf said in a statement.


The companies have worked together in the past to develop multiplexed reagent kits that are sold in Europe, including a CE/IVD-marked set of reagents to detect mutations in the GJB2 gene for the diagnosis of hereditary deafness and a research-use-only set of reagents to test for genetic causes of beta thalassemia.


Nanogen plans to continue to offer the current Amplimedical products in Italyand will begin exporting them to the European and Middle Eastmarkets, and will explore opportunities to use Amplimedical's expertise for the development and further commercialization of new European diagnostic products.


As a result of the deal, which is expected to close May 1, Amplimedical diagnostics business will be merged with Nanogen's existing European operations to form Nanogen Advanced Diagnostics. This new division, which will be based in Milanand Buttigliera Alta, Italy, is expected to become "the focal point for Nanogen's operations" in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and India.


Amplimedical's diagnostics division generated approximately €7 million in revenues in 2005. For the past five years, the company has distributed Nanogen's NanoChip molecular biology workstation and NanoChip 400 instrument systems in Italy.


Nanogen will pay for the assets with €2 million in cash and €6.1 million in a promissory note convertible into Nanogen common shares, Nanogen said.

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