By Randall Osborne

West Coast Editor

To pack its diagnostic-test pipeline, Genzyme General is acquiring Wyntek Diagnostics Inc. for $65 million in cash.

Revenues in diagnostics, an important part of Genzyme¿s business, will increase ¿35 percent right away¿ as a result of the buyout, said Bo Piela, manager of media relations for Cambridge, Mass.-based Genzyme.

Last year, Genzyme General¿s revenues totaled about $752 million. Of that, diagnostic product sales were about $60 million before the Wyntek acquisition.

The deal, expected to close in the second quarter, provides Genzyme with a broader range of rapid tests in the areas of pregnancy and infectious disease.

¿We¿re not a big diagnostics player, like an Abbott [Laboratories, of Abbott Park, Ill.], but we have a very focused strategy in the market,¿ Piela said.

An important area of focus is cardiovascular, he added.

¿We¿ve been working to develop a stroke panel, and Wyntek has been working on a cardiac test that would be used in the emergency room,¿ Piela told BioWorld Today. ¿There are possibilities that the technologies could be complementary. We don¿t have any rapid tests in cardiovascular right now,¿ he added.

About 2 million strokes occur annually in the U.S., Europe and Japan, Piela said, and quick diagnosis is especially important in that indication.

Privately held Wyntek, founded in 1994, recorded $17.5 million in sales of rapid-test products last year, and expects to chalk up $25 million this year.

¿We¿re working in the same segments, infectious disease and pregnancy, right now, and the products each company has on the market are complementary to each other,¿ Piela said. Both firms already offer rapid test products for the diagnosis in pregnancy, streptococcus A and infectious mononucleosis.

Genzyme said it will keep Wyntek¿s employees and continue operations at the same location in San Diego.

The rapid test is the main type used in point-of-care testing, which takes place at the patient¿s bedside rather than in a laboratory, thus shortening the turnaround time for results, which leads to quicker treatment decisions at lower cost.

Genzyme¿s shares (NASDAQ:GENZ) closed Monday at $105.96, up 69 cents.

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