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Abbott Labs Invests $20 Million in Genset in Pharmacogenomics Deal

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ABBOTT PARK, Ill.--Abbott Laboratories here will invest $20 million in Paris-based genomics company Genset and pay as much as $22.5 million more in research funding over the next 18 months as part of what the companies call a "pharmacogenomics analysis" agreement aimed at helping to customize the use of pharmaceuticals for specific subgroups of patients based on genetic differences. The investment will come in the form of a $10 million up-front payment plus another $10 million upon exercise of a put option by Genset during the second year. Abbott will gain almost a 5 percent stake in Genset.

Under terms of the deal, Genset will develop a high-density, biallelic marker map of a human genome and identify markers and genes associated with drug metabolism. Abbott will then develop, produce, and market diagnostic systems derived from the research to test patient response to specific drugs. The two companies will share revenues from milestone and royalty payments based on their respective research contributions to products.

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