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LabCorp to Acquire Monogram Biosciences for $107M

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Laboratory Corporation of America has signed an agreement to acquire Monogram Biosciences for around $107 million.

Through the deal, LabCorp would gain access to Monogram's portfolio of molecular diagnostic and pharmacogenomic assays. Among its products is the Trofile assay, which helps physicians determine which patients would benefit from treatment with Pfizer's maraviroc (Selzentry) drug. South San Francisco, Calif.-based Monogram has an ongoing marketing deal with Pfizer to make the Trofile assay available on a global basis in support of the launches of Selzentry, which is used to treat CCR5-tropic HIV-1.

The firm also has been adding new markers to its HERmark breast cancer test, and has been trying to ink more collaborations with drug makers in order to embed its VeraTag assays in cancer drug trials.

David King, chairman and CEO of Burlington, NC-based LabCorp, called the acquisition a "significant step" in the firm's strategy for the personalized medicine market. "By utilizing LabCorp's national infrastructure to build on Monogram's already strong sales, we will advance our leadership in infectious disease and cancer testing, companion diagnostics and personalized medicine," he said in a statement.

Under terms of the deal, LabCorp will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Monogram in a cash offer of $4.55 per share for a total equity value of $106.7 million. The acquisition price represents a significant premium over Monogram's closing price of $1.68 yesterday on the Nasdaq. Including the assumption of debt, the deal has a total enterprise value of roughly $155 million, the firms said.

Monogram recently reported that its first-quarter revenues had declined 4 percent to $14.2 million. The firm had full-year 2008 revenues of $62.2 million and had guided for 2009 revenues of between $66 million and $70 million.

The firm's hope to close the acquisition in the third quarter.

In early Tuesday trade, shares of Monogram were up 168 percent at $4.51.