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Varian's shareholders approved the merger agreement with Agilent this week.

Two big recent proposed deals — a bid by Danaher to buy ABI/MDS mass-spec joint venture and MDS Analytical Technologies, and Agilent's bid for Varian — could signal a trend of consolidation in the proteomics.

Varian said that the request extends the waiting period for the expiration of antitrust laws.

According to a law firm, the proposed sale price of $52 for each share of Varian stock "appears unfair given that Varian shares traded close to $70 per share in 2008."

The law firm said in a statement that the purchase price "appears unfair."

The acquisition is Agilent's largest in the life sciences space and continues a strategy by the firm to focus on that segment and its "transformation into a leading bio-analytical measurement company," its chief executive said.

Though Varian does not sell arrays, it does sell some products to array users and also has access to technology that could be useful for Agilent's microarray business.

The acquisition will expand Agilent's portfolio in a variety of life sciences and applied markets, such as the environment and energy.

The Danish liquid-chromatography and bioinformatics firm plans to use the funding to help it break even and build out its sales and marketing efforts.


Bloomberg reports that the DNA-for-cash deal reported in Kentucky might be a more widespread scam.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have treated infants with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency using gene therapy in an early phase study.

St. Louis Public Radio reports that some African Americans are turning to DNA ancestry testing to help guide genealogical searches.

In Nature this week: a genomic analysis of the snailfish Pseudoliparis swirei, ancient DNA analysis gives insight into the introduction of farming to England, and more.