Novartis to acquire cancer diagnostics company Genoptix for $470 million

Swiss pharmaceutical major Novartis AG yesterday said that it will pay $470 million in cash to acquire US-based cancer diagnostics company Genoptix.

Founded in 1999 and based in Carlsbad, California, Genoptix is a publicly-traded, cancer diagnostics company that specialises in diagnosing cancers in the bone marrow, blood and lymph nodes.

The company, which had market value of around $369 million in December, had put itself for sale and hired Barclays Plc to run an auction.

Genoptix had been facing intense competition in the specialty lab space and has seen its stock price plummeting by 60 per cent since the beginning of last year.

In 2009, Genoptix had sales of $184 million, and $148 million for the first nine months of 2010.

Once the trnsaction is concluded Genoptix, which employs approximately 500 people, will become part of Novartis Molecular Diagnostics (MDx), a unit within the Novartis Pharmaceuticals Division.