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Covance Closes Acquisition of Merck Gene Expression Group

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Clinical research and pharmaceutical services firm Covance said yesterday that it has closed its acquisition of Merck's Seattle-based gene expression lab.

The financial terms of the purchase, announced last month, were not disclosed, but Merck has agreed to purchase of a five-year genomic analysis services contract worth $145 million as part of the deal.

Covance said that it is now controlling operations at the Seattle lab, the former headquarters of Merck's Rosetta Inpharmatics subsidiary, and that the lab's staff now works for Covance.

"We recognized the need to expand our footprint in the important and growing genomics testing market and this transaction provided both a superior and quicker entry point than the build or buy options we considered," Joe Herring, chairman and CEO of Covance, said in a statement when the deal was announced on July 30.

"The overall size of the genomics market is estimated at several hundred million dollars per year, including services for discovery/preclinical and clinical trials support," Herring said.

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