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Roche acquires 454 Life Sciences to strengthen presence in ultra-fast gene sequencing


Roche and CuraGen today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement under which Roche will acquire 100% of 454 Life Sciences, a majority-owned subsidiary of CuraGen Corporation, active in high-throughput DNA sequencing. Under the terms of the agreement, Roche will pay 454 Life Sciences’ shareholders USD 140 million in cash. In addition to the payment from Roche, 454 Life Sciences’ shareholders may receive up to USD 14.9 million in cash from the holders of currently outstanding stock options and warrants if these are exercised.

454 Life Sciences and Roche have an existing research and marketing collaboration under which Roche Diagnostics is the exclusive worldwide distributor of the Genome Sequencer systems based on 454 Life Science’s ultrafast 454 Sequencing technology. This acquisition will give Roche Diagnostics access to 454’s future generations of sequencing products and the use of 454 Sequencing for in-vitro diagnostic applications.

“This acquisition is part of our strategy to strengthen our position as a major player in the sequencing market. Our existing collaboration is very successful and we welcome 454 Life Sciences and its employees to the Roche Diagnostics Division,”said Severin Schwan, CEO Division Roche Diagnostics and Member of the Corporate Executive Committee of Roche.

454 Life Sciences as part of Roche Diagnostics will continue to provide powerful sequencing systems to the markets. The Genome Sequencer 20 System and the new Genome Sequencer FLX System, one of the important new products of Roche Diagnostics, have been established in sequencing laboratories all over the world for a wide range of research applications.

Roche plans to maintain the 454 Life Sciences facility in Branford, Connecticut with its 167 employees as a fully integrated part of the Roche Diagnostics organization. This transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. Approval by CuraGen or Roche shareholders is not required for the transaction to be consummated


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