By Kim Coghill

Washington Editor

Genomic Solutions Inc. Thursday said it signed a six-month option agreement to purchase all outstanding shares of Fundamental Forces Corp. in exchange for stock and cash.

"We believe that Fundamental Forces' technology offers unlimited potential to improve the throughput, sensitivity and the ease of use of products for proteomic and genomic research," Jeffrey Williams, president and CEO of Genomic Solutions, said in a prepared statement. Genomic Solutions said methods developed by Fundamental Forces provide a platform for designing revolutionary research systems.

Company officials could not be reached for comment.

Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Genomic Solutions develops, manufactures and markets genomic and proteomic instrumentation, software, consumables and services. Its proteomic products are used to isolate, identify and characterize proteins. The products and systems enable researchers to perform complex, high-volume experiments at lower costs and in less time than traditional techniques, it said.

Among its customers are Merck and Co. Inc., of Whitehouse Station, N.J.; Cambridge Antibody Technology Group, of Melbourn, UK; and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Customers use the systems to produce biochips, maintain DNA libraries, quantify gene expression levels, and isolate, identify and characterize proteins.

Fundamental Forces, based in Encinitas, Calif. develops proprietary methods for the detection and manipulation of biomolecules.

In May Genomic Solutions raised $61.3 million in an initial public offering, selling 7.66 million shares at $8 each. (See BioWorld Today, May 8, 2000.)

Genomic Solutions' stock (NASDAQ:GNSL) closed Thursday at $13.81, up 62 cents.

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