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Inverness, Beckman Coulter and Biosite, Eksigent and Houm, Stratos Biosystems, and PerkinElmer

Inverness Outbids Beckman, Wins Right to Merge with Biosite
With rival Beckman Coulter out of the picture, Inverness Medical Innovations entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Biosite at $92.50 per share in a deal valued at about $1.5 billion.
The proposed deal was struck last week and is expected to close at the end of the second quarter or start of the third quarter, the two companies said in a joint statement. Biosite will be folded into Inverness’ operations and take on the Inverness name upon completion of the deal.
Biosite has about 17.1 million shares outstanding. Inverness already owns 5 percent of Biosite’s outstanding common stock, meaning it would purchase about 16.2 million shares as part of the acquisition, making it worth about $1.5 billion. 
In a statement, Kim Blickenstaff, Biosite’s chairman and CEO, said the deal provides “an increased all-cash premium to our stockholders and reflects Inverness’ strong commitment to the transaction.”
Ron Zwanziger, president, chairman and CEO of Inverness said the merger “maximizes value for [Biosite’s] stockholders while offering the advantages and growth potential of this powerful strategic combination to our stockholders.”
The deal is not subject to Inverness shareholder approval. If it is not completed by July 3, Biosite shareholders will receive $.015205 per share for each day following July 3 until it closes.
A bidding war for Biosite was set off in late March when Beckman sought to acquire the company for $85 per share in a deal valued at $1.55 billion.
Inverness then made an unsolicited offer at $90 per share. Beckman matched that offer in early May. Two weeks ago, Inverness upped the ante to $92.50 per share. When Beckman declined to match, Biosite terminated their merger agreement.
In a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission last week, Beckman said Biosite has paid it a $54 million termination fee for dissolving their merger agreement, as stipulated by the agreement. Inverness will repay Biosite the fee as a cost of acquisition.

Eksigent, Houm Sign Distribution Deal for Norway
Eksigent last week said that Houm will sell and service its NanoLC HPLC product line in Norway.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Based in Oslo, Houm represents a wide range of laboratory instrument manufacturers with customers in medical, industrial, and academic research, Eksigent said in a statement.
In recent months, Eksigent has inked similar distribution deals for its NanoLC HPLC covering South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Denmark, the Benelux region, and France.

Stratos Develops Protein Chip
Stratos Biosystems said this week it has completed pilot production capability for a new protein chip technology that can be used in biomarker-discovery programs for early cancer detection.
Stratos said its EC-Affinity chips for MALDI mass spectrometry are designed to give researchers a high-throughput affinity chromatography tool that is based on a new “self-assembling surface chemistry.”
The biochip technology will be used to detect “extremely rare proteins,” Stratos said, and will address what it calls a “major problem of lack of capacity and functionality” in detecting cancer-related proteins.
The company said it is now actively seeking new collaborators and partners.

PerkinElmer Declares Dividend
The PerkinElmer board last week declared a quarterly dividend of $.07 per share of common stock payable on August 10 to shareholders of record at the close of business day on July 20.

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.