PerSeptive Biosystems Inc. is in the process of concluding anagreement to purchase the BioSearch Division of Millipore Corp.Neither PerSeptive Biosystems, of Cambridge, Mass., nor Millipore, ofBedford, Mass., will disclose terms of the agreement until the deal iscomplete.Jeffrey Nunes, Millipore's senior vice president and general counsel,said he expects the final agreement to be signed in the next couple ofweeks.Nunes said Millipore has been exploring opportunities to sell itsBioSearch Division for the past 90 days. The division is a supplier ofinstrumentation and reagents in the areas of DNA and peptidesynthesis. It also supplies fluorescence-based assay instrumentation.Nunes said the BioSearch Division was formed last year to consolidateMillipore's "non-membrane biosciences" operations and to beginseeking "exit pathways" for those interests.PerSeptive Biosystems' president and CEO, Noubar Afeyan, said theacquisition will give his company the opportunity to expand into theDNA and peptide synthesis market, which is BioSearch's primaryfocus. PerSeptive's main business is development of products forpurification and analysis of biomolecules."Our intention is to build ourselves into a leading supplier of tools forthe life sciences industry," Afeyan told BioWorld.PerSeptive's stock (NASDAQ: PBIO) closed at $11, down $4.75, butaccording to market analysts the decline was not related to theannouncement concerning the acquisition.Millipore's stock (NYSE: MIL) closed Tuesday at $52.50, down 75cents. _ Charles Craig

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