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Sangamo Biosciences Has Option to Acquire Gendaq in Stock Deal Worth $40M

NEW YORK, May 30 - Sangamo Biosciences said Wednesday it has obtained the option to acquire privately-held Gendaq in a stock-for-stock deal worth $39.7 million.

Sangamo, which is currently completing due diligence, has until July 14 to exercise its option to acquire Gendaq, a London-based developer of zinc finger DNA binding proteins for gene regulating gene expression. 

Under the terms of the proposed agreement, Sangamo, in Richmond, Calif., has the right to purchase all of Gendaq's outstanding stock and employee stock options in exchange for 2.25 million shares of Sangamo stock, or about 10 percent of Sangamo's outstanding shares. Based on Sangamo's Tuesday closing price of $17.62 on the Nasdaq, the deal is valued at about $39.7 million.

Sangamo is also developing gene regulation technology using zinc finger proteins, which bind with a selected gene and then act to up or down-regulate its expression. 

Gendaq's research springs from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in London, where two of the founders, Aaron Klug and Yen Choo worked together prior to starting Gendaq. The company currently employs 16 scientists, has applied for 24 patents in zinc finger technology, and holds $6 million in cash, according to a statement.

Separately, Sangamo said yesterday its chief scientific officer, Alan Wolffe, had died in a traffic accident while attending a recent international scientific meeting.

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