Issue Date: June 25, 2007
Roche Will Acquire NimbleGen
Roche will purchase NimbleGen Systems for $273 million in an attempt to build its position in the genomics research market. Just last month, Roche completed a $155 million acquisition of the gene-sequencing technology company 454 Life Sciences. The Swiss drugmaker already had a strong foundation in polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology and instrumentation. To this mix, NimbleGen brings high-density DNA microarray technology and related instruments and reagents. The global market for microarray systems is estimated at $600 million per year and grew 10% in 2006, according to Roche. Major competitors include Affymetrix, Agilent Technologies, and Illumina. Located in Madison, Wis., NimbleGen was founded in late 1999 with technology licensed from the University of Wisconsin. The company had started planning in March for a $75 million initial stock offering. Its 140 employees and operations at three sites—Madison; Reykjavik, Iceland; and Waldkraiburg, Germany—will become part of Roche Applied Science, a business in Roche's diagnostics division. Pending shareholder approval, the deal is expected to close in the third quarter.
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