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UPDATE: ABI Acquires Boston Probes and PNA-Diagnostics

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 5 – Applied Biosystems acquired Boston Probes, a developer of peptide nucleic acid probes, the companies announced Monday.

Applied Biosystems added 87 percent of outstanding Boston Probes shares acquired in the agreement to the 13 percent it already owned of the privately-held Bedford, Mass.-based company. In the deal, Foster City, Calif.-based Applied Biosystems paid $32.8 million in cash for Boston Probes and Denmark-based PNA-Diagnostics, a company that holds intellectual property rights related to peptide nucleic acids, according to the companies. Applied Biosystems purchased both companies from the Danish diagnostics company Dako A/S.

The combined acquired technology, including probes for gene expression, analysis of SNPs, detection of pathogens, and genetic analysis, will be used in Applied Biosystems' Sequence Detection Systems (SDS), a platform for real-time analysis of genetic information, the company said.

All of Boston Probes' 25 staff members will join Applied Biosystems, a spokesperson for Applied Biosystems told GenomeWeb . In the near term, the staff will remain based in Massachusetts, according to the spokesperson. Integration of the technology is expected to take until approximately June 2002.

"We see [Boston Probe's products] as a promising technology to be used in a wide range of applications and as a complement to our sequence detection system," said the spokesperson.

In October, Applied Biosystems reported a 34 percent drop in first quarter profits compared to the year-ago quarter.

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