PerSeptive Biosystems Inc. announced Wednesday that it hasacquired privately held Vestec Corp. in a stock transactionworth close to $5 million.

The agreement, which was first announced in late August,called for PerSeptive of Cambridge, Mass., to issue $4 millionworth of new shares of its stock (NASDAQ:PBIO) to Vestecshareholders. On Wednesday, PerSeptive cited the actualnumber of shares to be issued as 203,079, which actuallyplaces a value on the purchase of closer to $5 million. (Thestock closed Tuesday at $23.50 per share, but gained $2.75Wednesday on the news, closing at $26.25.)

The Vestec acquisition represents PerSeptive's entry into themass-spectrometry market for biomolecular analysis.

Vestec of Houston has been developing mass-spec systems --which measure molecules based on their mass -- for a decadeand claims to have been responsible for many of thetechniques designed to simplify the analytical method as wellas make it more affordable.

Recently, Vestec has focused on developing mass-specequipment for biotechnology research labs, most specifically inthe design of instrumentation that will enable molecularbiologists and biochemists to perform mass spectrometry andliquid chromatography directly rather than rely on workperformed by dedicated mass-spec labs.

"The high sensitivity and resolution afforded by massspectrometry make it a broadly enabling technology for themeasurement and characterization of biomolecules, thesequencing of proteins and DNA and the monitoring ofbiopharmaceutical processes," said Noubar Afeyan, presidentand chief executive officer of PerSeptive.

The company sees its perfusion chromatographic methods,which allow the high resolution separation of biomolecules 10to 1,000 times faster than conventional chromatography, as an"enabling technology" that will act hand-in-hand with massspectrometry to provide the means for biomolecular analysis.

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

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