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PerkinElmer to Buy ViaCell for $300M to Expand Neonatal Screening Business

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - PerkinElmer has agreed to buy ViaCell, a Cambridge, Mass.-based specialty stem cell company, for around $300 million, the companies said Monday.
 
ViaCell focuses on collecting and preserving umbilical cord blood stem cells, and Perkin Elmer said it expects the acquisition to “significantly expand” its neonatal and prenatal screening business.
 
Under the terms of the agreement, PerkinElmer will acquire all of ViaCell’s outstanding shares for $7.25 a share, for a total purchase price of $300 million and a net of $260 million.
 
ViaCell’s ViaCord business allows families to preserve a baby's umbilical cord blood at the time of birth for potential medical use by the child or a related family member. ViaCord sales are expected to around $60 million in 2007, and PerkinElmer estimates that the US market for cord blood banking could reach more than $1 billion.
 
PerkinElmer plans to divest ViaCell's therapeutic businesses.
 
PerkinElmer’s neonatal screening business currently tests for more than 50 genetic disorders, according to Robert Friel, president and COO. He added that “a growing number of disorders” are treatable using cord blood stem cells, and that “bringing both the screening and therapeutic benefits of these two businesses together … can offer a more comprehensive solution to patients and practitioners."
 
The boards of directors of both companies have approved the acquisition, and PerkinElmer expects the deal to close by the fourth quarter of 2007.