A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Pharmaceutical and diagnostics powerhouse Roche (Basel, Switzerland) reported that it has completed its tender offer for the publicly held shares of biotechnology company Genentech (South San Francisco, California). A total of about 395.7 million shares of Genentech common stock were tendered representing 84.7% of Genentech's publicly held shares.

Together with the 55.7% of the outstanding shares already held by Roche, the company now holds a total of about 982.9 million or 93.2% of the 1,054,555,886 Genentech shares outstanding. In addition, another 3% of outstanding shares were guaranteed to be delivered within the next three business days which, if added to the shares already received in the tender offer and Roche's existing stake, would represent roughly 96.2% of Genentech's total outstanding shares.

Shareholders who have tendered their shares will promptly receive $95 per share for those shares.

Recently, Roche agreed to pay $46.8 billion in cash to buy the remaining 44% of Genentech that it doesn't already own, ending a hostile takeover bid by Roche that has stretched out for months.

Genentech's board rejected Roche's initial friendly bid of $89 per share in July. Roche then surprised the company with a lowered $86.50-per-share bid last month, aimed directly at shareholders.

The deal values Genentech as a whole at $100.1 billion when including the portion of the company already owned by Roche. The buyer said it expects to save $750 million to $850 million per year by eliminating duplication, but has not yet given a figure for potential job cuts.

As soon as practicable Roche will cause a short-form merger under Delaware law in which Genentech will become a wholly-owned member of the Roche Group, and all remaining public shareholders will, subject to appraisal rights, receive $95 per share for their shares. Following the merger, Genentech's common stock will cease to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

In other dealmaking news, Mauna Kea Technologies (Paris) and VisualSonics (Toronto) reported that they have entered an exclusive distribution agreement through which VisualSonics will market and sell Cellvizio LAB high resolution in vivo imaging systems to preclinical researchers on a worldwide basis.

Cellvizio LAB provides researchers with a new way to understand physiological phenomena at the cellular and sub-cellular levels in situ in animal subjects. For the first time, preclinical researchers are able to easily capture, analyze and compare smooth-motion video sequences of a wide array of cellular level characteristics and events, in real-time, without disturbing the natural environment in which they take place.

Cellvizio LAB is currently used by neuroscience research institutions in various applications including neurological research of the deep brain and peripheral nerves, especially in the research of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, where it offers a unique capability to couple in vivo and in situ observations of neuronal activity on freely moving animals with behavioral studies, the company noted.

The minimal invasiveness of Cellvizio LAB and its adaptability to longitudinal studies make it also a key-element for research fields such as cancer, stem cell and gene delivery research. As a new molecular imaging technique, Cellvizio LAB can help monitor the interactions and effects of new molecules and new potential drug vectors non-invasively. Cellvizio LAB can also be used as high-throughput screening technique for mutant line maintenance, the company said.

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