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Nanogen, Epoch Shares Up More Than 20 Percent Apiece Ahead of Shareholder Meeting

NEW YORK, Dec. 2 (GenomeWeb News) - Shares in Nanogen and Epoch Biosciences, which Nanogen is set to acquire by the end of the year, were up 24.4 percent at $6.22 and 21.65 at $2.86, respectively, in mid-afternoon trading.

 

The jump, triggered by news of a newly issued European patent by Nanogen subsidiary SynX, represents the four straight day of increases for both companies, whose shareholder are scheduled to vote on the proposed acquisition on Dec. 8.

 

As  GenomeWeb News reported in September, Nanogen said it would acquire Epoch in an all-stock transaction worth around $60 million. Under the terms of the agreement, Nanogen has agreed to an offer price of $2 per Epoch share, which is a 30 percent premium over the average closing price of Epoch's shares for the 20 trading days ended Sept. 1, the companies said.

 

Epoch shareholders will receive a number of Nanogen shares based on an exchange ratio determined by dividing the offer price by Nanogen's issue price as calculated at closing.

 

The directors of both companies have signed an agreement to vote in favor of the transaction, which, subject to approval by stockholders is expected to close by the end of this year.

 

Nanogen and Epoch have several complementary products in the molecular diagnostics field, the companies said. Specifically, Epoch's MGB Eclipse Probe System, including recently launched analyte-specific detection reagents, complement Nanogen's NanoChip molecular biology workstation. Both products are used for analyzing gene expression in vitro, detecting SNPs and mutations, and identifying infectious organisms, the companies said.

 

Nanogen said at the time that it intends to retain Epoch's R&D capabilities and reagent manufacturing operations in Bothell, Wash.Administration, marketing, and sales will be merged into Nanogen's San Diegoheadquarters.

 

Seven Hills Partners acted as financial advisor to Nanogen in the transaction, while Molecular Securities advised Epoch on the deal.

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