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Avant, Amarantus Diagnostics Add Theranostics Health to Planned Merger

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Avant Diagnostics and Amarantus Diagnostics, which are set to merge later this quarter, announced today that they have signed a letter of intent to acquire protein analysis services provider Theranostics Health.

"Key to the business case for the merged company is THI's impressive pharma services revenue base and sales channel in the area of cell signaling biology," Avant President and CEO Gregg Linn said in a statement. He added that Theranostics' CLIA lab will provide the combined company with the infrastructure for the planned launch of several new diagnostics.

Under the terms of the deal, Avant will issue 25 million shares of its common stock to Theranostics, which carry a total value of about $8 million based on the roughly $.32 per share price of the stock on Monday morning.

Additionally, Amarantus has provided a convertible bridge financing of $400,000 to Theranostics to facilitate the transaction. The financing will be assumed by Avant once the acquisition closes.

In January, Avant signed an agreement to merge with Amarantus Diagnostics, a subsidiary of therapeutics developer Amarantus Bioscience. This arrangement will join Amarantus' research-use-only assays for multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease with Avant's yet-to-be-launched microarray-based ovarian cancer diagnostic.

"It is clear that we will be expanding our CLIA offerings with much needed tests … in cancer and … in neurology, while also providing significant additional pharma services business development opportunities," Theranostics CEO Glenn Hoke added in the statement. "With platforms in microarray proteomics, ELISA, flow cytometry and next-gen sequencing, the combined company's capabilities will allow it to add cross-platform diagnostics as we grow into the future."

The three-way merger is expected to close by the end of March.