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Genomic Tests Firm Exagen Buying Cypress’ Dx Biz

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Exagen Diagnostics has agreed to buy the diagnostics business of Cypress Bioscience for up to $8 million in upfront and milestone payments.

Under the terms of the agreement announced Friday after the close of the market, Exagen will pay $4 million upfront, split into two separate payments 24 months apart, Cypress said in a statement. Exagen will also make milestone payments totaling up to $4 million and pay a 10 percent royalty to Cypress on defined product sales.

The deal is for Cypress’ entire diagnostics business, including all testing services, intellectual property rights, and equipment. Exagen will also assume the lease for Cypress’ laboratory operations in San Diego, where Cypress is headquartered. All Cypress laboratory employees will be offered jobs with Exagen.

The sale of its diagnostics business is part of a strategy by the pharmaceutical firm to divest certain assets by the third quarter, Cypress said.

The company had been developing a platform for the diagnosis and management of Lupus, and in a statement, Jay Kranzler, chairman and CEO of Cypress, said that Exagen is committed to moving the platform to the commercial development phase.

Based in Albuquerque, N.M., Exagen develops genomics tests.