PerSeptive Biosystems Inc. on Wednesday said it has signed aletter of intent to acquire privately held Vestec Corp.

Vestec of Houston is an innovator in the field of massspectrometry, an analytical technique used for theidentification and measurement of molecules based on theirmass.

The letter of intent calls for PerSeptive (NASDAQ:PBIO) ofCambridge, Mass., to issue $4 million worth of newly issuedshares to Vestec's shareholders. Consummation of thetransaction is subject to various approvals and other conditions,PerSeptive said. PerSeptive's stock closed at $19.25 a share onWednesday, up 50 cents.

"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, PerSeptive'spresident and chief executive officer. "Vestec's technicalleadership in this field makes it an ideal fit for PerSeptive inaddressing these biomolecular applications."

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