Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) and Lasergen, Inc. (Lasergen) today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement for Agilent to acquire the remaining shares of Lasergen, an emerging biotechnology company focused on research and development of innovative technologies for DNA sequencing, for $105 million.
In March 2016 Agilent made an initial investment in the privately-held company to acquire a 48-percent ownership stake with a two-year call option to acquire the remaining shares. Agilent gave its notice of exercise on February 23, 2018.
Lasergen and Agilent have been collaborating on building a next-generation sequencing workflow for clinical applications, with sequencing technology based on Lasergen's Lightning Terminators™ chemistry. Lightning Terminators offer potentially faster, more accurate and less expensive genome sequencing than other technologies currently on the market.
"Building a next-generation sequencing workflow for clinical applications is a critical component to Agilent´s diagnostics strategy to fight cancer and constitutional diseases," said Jacob Thaysen, president of Agilent's Diagnostics and Genomics Group. "We are focused on delivering patient-centric, actionable information for clinical decisions. Ensuring an integrated customer experience across all of our diagnostic modalities is essential and will become a key differentiator going forward."
"Over the past two years, Agilent and Lasergen have worked closely together and developed a strong partnership," said Kamni Vijay, Ph.D., vice president and general manager of Agilent's Genomics division. "The decision to acquire the remaining shares of Lasergen demonstrates our commitment to the team and technology, and our strategic intent to build a complete routine clinical NGS workflow."
"We are excited that the successful collaboration of the Lasergen and Agilent teams will continue as one combined team bringing together Lasergen's expertise in NGS chemistry with Agilent's leadership in target enrichment, clinical interpretation support software, and strong technologies in automation and microfluidics," said Mimi Healy, Ph.D., president and CEO of Lasergen. "The molecular diagnostic market opportunity for NGS is still in early phases and we are in a unique position to create integrated clinical workflows — and ultimately to enable better treatment decisions and precision medicine."
Founded in 2002, Lasergen is based in Houston, Texas with one location in San Diego, Calif.
Lasergen has 45 employees.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.