Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) and Lasergen, Inc. today announced that Agilent is investing $80 million in Lasergen, an emerging biotechnology company with innovative next-generation sequencing technology.
With this investment, Agilent will acquire a 48-percent ownership stake in privately held Lasergen and will join the board. Agilent has the option to acquire the remaining shares of Lasergen until March 2, 2018, for an additional consideration of $105 million.
The two companies will collaborate on building a next-generation sequencing solutions workflow for clinical applications, based on Lasergen's Lightning Terminators(tm) sequencing chemistry. Lightning Terminators offer potentially faster, more accurate and less expensive genome sequencing than other technologies currently on the market.
"Agilent is investing in a team and technology that hold great promise for the future of genetic sequencing," said Jacob Thaysen, president of Agilent's Diagnostics and Genomics Group. "Agilent has been clear about its strategic intent to grow in the diagnostics space and, to that end, build a complete routine clinical NGS workflow. Our investment and collaboration are designed to accelerate Lasergen's work in commercializing their novel technology, focused on developing a sequencing workflow aimed at clinical applications."
"We're excited to collaborate with a known leader in diagnostics and genomics," said Mimi Healy, Ph.D., president and CEO of Lasergen. "Agilent's experience of providing leading products, combined with our expertise in NGS chemistry, will allow us to develop a comprehensive solution designed to meet the needs of the routine clinical NGS market."
The investment will result in a two- to three-cent earnings-per-share dilution impact on both FY16 and FY17. However, Agilent's overall company-level guidance communicated on Feb. 16 remains unchanged.
Agilent's management will present more details about this transaction on a conference call with investors today at 2 p.m. PT. This event will be webcast live in listen-only mode. Listeners may log on at www.investor.agilent.com and select Lasergen Investment Conference Call in the "News & Events Calendar of Events" section. The webcast will remain available on the company's website for 90 days.
A telephone replay of the conference call will be available at approximately 5 p.m. PT today through March 14 by dialing +1 855 859 2056 (or +1 404 537 3406 from outside the United States) and entering passcode 50801686.
Lasergen is an innovative research and development company dedicated to the advancement and commercialization of unique nucleotide chemistries with particular focus on sequencing. While Lasergen's proprietary photocleavable chemistry can be used in a wide variety of applications, the Lightning Terminators are specifically being developed as part of an NGS platform that includes chemistry, instrumentation and software. The Houston, Texas-based company was founded in 2002.