Beckman Coulter (Fullerton, California) has acquired the technologies of Peoples Genetics (PGI; Woburn, Massachusetts), used for the comprehensive genetic analysis of large pooled populations of individual patient DNAs. Details of the cash transaction were not disclosed. The acquired technologies, originally developed in a collaboration between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; Cambridge, Massachusetts) and Northeastern University (Boston, Massachusetts), include procedures for sample preparation and constant denaturant capillary electrophoresis. When applied to large pools of DNA up to 100,000 samples these technologies enable rapid identification and validation of low-frequency mutations which contribute to common complex diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disorders, among others. Beckman Coulter, a maker of instrument systems, chemistries and supplies for laboratory processes, said it initially plans to integrate the acquired technologies into its CEQ 8000 genetic analysis system, enhancing the instrument's capabilities.

Thoratec (Pleasanton, California), a manufacturer of products to treat cardiovascular disease, said its International Technidyne (ITC; Edison, New Jersey) subsidiary has completed its previously reported asset purchase agreement to acquire the Immediate Response Mobile Analysis (IRMA) point-of-care (POC) blood analysis system product line from critical care technology developer Diametrics Medical (St. Paul, Minnesota). ITC paid about $5 million in cash and assumed certain trade payables related to the assets. In conjunction with the transaction, Thoratec said it would record a non-cash write off for in-process research and development in 4Q03 of $1.5 million to $2 million, or less than one-half cent per share. The company said the transaction is expected to be neutral to its previous financial guidance for 2003 and neutral or slightly accretive to cash earnings in 2004. The business is currently generating $5 million to $10 million in annual revenues. The IRMA system provides intermittent testing of a broad range of critical care tests, including blood gases in the operating room or at the patient's bedside. Blood gas monitoring is performed during and after surgery to detect changes in oxygenation and ventilation. "While our primary strategic focus continues to be heart failure, this product line rounds out ITC's offerings and adds to the very successful franchise we have built there over the past couple of years," said D. Keith Grossman, president and CEO of Thoratec. Diametrics said the transaction allows it to focus on the development of its continuous monitoring business.

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