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OGT Acquires UK FISH Probe Maker Cytocell

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Oxford Gene Technology said today that it has acquired Cytocell for an undisclosed sum.

Cytocell, based in Cambridge, UK, offers a portfolio of fluorescence in situ hybridization probes that can be used to detect gene arrangements related to inherted diseases and cancer. Oxford, UK-based OGT said that Cytocell's products complement its CytoSure cytogenetics array and next-generation sequencing products.

OGT funded the deal with cash and a debt facility provided through Silicon Valley Bank. As part of the acquisition, Cytocell Managing Director Martin Lawrie will join OGT's executive committee, the company said. It also expects the transaction to be immediately accretive, noting that Cytocell had sales of £4.5 million ($7.5 million) in 2013, and is growing at an annual rate of 20 percent.

OGT CEO Mike Evans in a statement called the deal "a great opportunity to add to our portfolio of class-leading technologies and position ourselves for growth across new geographical markets and customer application areas."

Cytocell will gain a direct presence in the US by becoming part of OGT , which opened its North American office in Tarrytown, NY at the end of 2012. OGT, in turn, will gain access to Cytocell's distributor network, which covers more than 60 countries.

OGT also said that the deal provides it with entry into the "large and growing market" for FISH products, which is estimated to be worth $295 million, growing at a rate of 19 percent per year. OGT and Cytocell are also planning new products based on Cytocell's collection of 34,000 bacterial artificial chromosome clones, the company said.

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