CuraGen, majority owner of 454 Life Sciences, will receive $85 million.

Roche will acquire 454 Life Sciences from Curagen in a transaction worth $154.9 million. Roche will pay $140 million in cash, and 454 will receive the rest from the exercise of stock options issued and outstanding prior to the acquisition. CuraGen expects to get approximately $85 million before fees and expenses.

“We are pleased to announce the successful implementation of this strategic initiative regarding 454 Life Sciences, which allows us to gain liquidity on our investment and to extend our runway to bring our oncology products to market,” says Frank M. Armstrong, M.D., president and CEO of CuraGen.

In May 2005, 454 Life Sciences and Roche signed a research and marketing collaboration that extends until September 30, 2010. Roche Diagnostics has since been acting as the exclusive, worldwide distributor of the Genome Sequencer systems and associated reagents to all markets with the exception of regulated diagnostics. Through this acquisition, Roche Diagnostics will now obtain access to 454 Life Sciences’ future generations of sequencing products and the use of 454 Sequencing™ in regulated diagnostic applications.

Roche predicts that it will close this transaction by the second quarter of 2007. The company plans to maintain the 454 Life Sciences facility in Branford, CT with its 167 employees as a fully integrated part of the Roche Diagnostics organization.

Separately, in a deal that marks the first as owner of 454, Roche Diagnostics signed a co-marketing agreement to install a 454 GenomeSequencer FLX System at one of Cogenics’ European facilities. The company plans to offer the 454 GS FLX sequencing technology as a fee-for-service offering to clients worldwide.

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