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GEN News Highlights : Jul 30, 2009

Covance Takes Over Merck & Co.’s Gene-Expression Lab and Gains $145M Contract

Fee ensures that Covance will provide Merck with genomic services over the next five years.

Merck & Co. will pay $145 million over five years to purchase genomic analysis services from Covance. Additionally, Covance will acquire Merck's Seattle-based gene-expression laboratory, which offers genotyping, gene sequencing, and gene-expression profiling.

“We recognized the need to expand our footprint in the important and growing genomics testing market and this transaction provided both a superior and quicker entry point than the build or buy options we considered,” notes Joe Herring, chairman and CEO of Covance.

Covance expects to offer employment to a majority of current Merck employees and is scheduled to assume occupancy and operation of the lab on August 17. Covance has headquarters in Princeton, NJ, and reports that it has annual revenues of more than $1.7 billion.