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GE Healthcare to Acquire Clarient for $580M

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – GE Healthcare announced today that it has inked a deal to acquire molecular diagnostics and imaging firm Clarient for around $580 million.

Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based Clarient is developing proprietary biomarkers and tests for profiling breast, prostate, lung, colon, and blood-based cancers. Last year, the firm acquired Applied Genomics, a molecular diagnostics firm that was developing the Mammostrat breast cancer recurrence test, which Clarient intends to launch as a laboratory-developed test later this year.

GE Healthcare said that the combination of Clarient's technologies with its own diagnostic imaging capabilities is expected to accelerate the development of new integrated tools for diagnosis and characterization of cancer. Citing market research, GE said that the global market for cancer-profiling products and services is expected to grow from around $15 billion in 2009 to $47 billion by 2015.

GE Healthcare will commence a tender offer for all outstanding common and preferred shares of Clarient. It will offer $5 per share for the common stock and $20 per share for the preferred stock, both payable in cash.

"Adding Clarient's leading technology to our portfolio will accelerate our expansion into cancer diagnostics and therapy selection tools, while strongly enhancing our current diagnostic and life sciences offerings," John Dineen, president and CEO of GE Healthcare, said in a statement. "We believe we can build a $1 billion-plus business by developing integrated diagnostic solutions for cancer and other diseases."

Clarient's board of directors of has approved the transaction and unanimously recommended that the firm's shareholders tender their shares in the transaction. Stockholders holding approximately 47 percent of Clarient's current outstanding voting stock have agreed, to tender their shares in the proposed transaction, according to GE.

The firms expect the deal to close in late 2010 or early 2011.

In early Friday trade on the Nasdaq, Clarient shares were up 33 percent at $4.97.

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