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GEN News Highlights : Dec 16, 2010

Gen-Probe Pays $53M to Take Over GTI Diagnostics

Deal gives Gen-Probe entry into blood-banking and coagulation markets.

Gen-Probe is buying GTI Diagnostics for $53 million in cash. The acquired company is focused on the transplantation and specialty coagulation markets as well as blood banking. Its products will complement Gen-Probe’s business, which provides products and services to detect human diseases, screen donated human blood, and ensure transplant compatibility.

“Acquiring GTI enables us to broaden and strengthen our transplant diagnostics business,” says Carl Hull, Gen-Probe’s president and CEO. “In addition, the acquisition gives us access to growing coagulation and transfusion-related blood-bank products that we can sell to our current customer base.”

GTI develops and manufactures the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) antibody detection products sold by Gen-Probe under its Lifecodes brand. GTI also commercializes a number of other HLA-related testing products including serological typing trays, enzyme immunoassays (EIAs), and a range of molecular typing products for donor-recipient matching and patient monitoring.

Gen-Probe’s transplant-related tests are divided into Lifecodes molecular products and Lifecodes antibody detection products. The former includes HLA typing, KIR Genotyping, Cytokine SNP Typing, and RBC Genotyping.

In the specialty coagulation market, GTI sells immunoassay products that measure a patient’s immune response to Heparin and factor VIII therapies. The blood-bank product line includes immunoassay products that measure antibodies developed against transfused platelets.

Gen-Probe made its last major investment on June 18 when it plugged $50 million into Pacific Biosciences, which has developed the Single Molecule Real Time (SMRT™) sequencing platform. The companies will exclusively partner for up to 30 months to jointly develop additional clinical diagnostic systems based on the SMRT technology. Gen-Probe currently markets clinical diagnostics for genetic diseases, microbial infectious diseases, respiratory infectious diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, and viral infections.