Novartis bids $470M for US cancer diagnostic firm

GENEVA (AP) — Swiss drug maker Novartis AG said Monday it is paying $470 million to acquire U.S. cancer diagnostic specialist Genoptix Inc.

Novartis will pay $25 per share to acquire all of the Carlsbad, California-based company’s outstanding stock.

The price represents a 39 percent premium over Genoptix’s share value on Dec. 13, 2010, when rumors of a sale sparked a price surge, Novartis said in a statement.

Analysts at Zuercher Kantonalbank said the takeover was “strategically very sensible.” Novartis shares dipped 0.1 percent in early trading on the Zurich exchange.

Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez was quoted as saying the acquisition of Genoptix would help the Basel-based pharma giant expand its individualized cancer treatment programs.

Genoptix specializes in diagnosing cancers in bone marrow, blood and lymph nodes. It had sales of $148 million during the first nine months last year.

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