Genelabs Technologies Inc. said Tuesday that it has signed aletter of intent to acquire Diagnostic Biotechnology (Pte) Ltd.(DBL) of Singapore.

Genelabs Asia of Singapore, the diagnostics division of Genelabs(NASDAQ:GNLB) of Redwood City, Calif., will merge with DBL toform a worldwide diagnostic product development,manufacturing and sales division in Singapore.

Genelabs said it expects to purchase the remaining outstandingshares of DBL common stock in a non-cash stock exchangevalued at approximately $8.5 million. Genelabs expects tocomplete the acquisition by late March.

DBL focuses on diagnostic technologies and services, with anemphasis on the European and Asian Pacific health caremarkets.

"The acquisition of DBL further facilitates our long-termstrategy to gain a strong share of the worldwide market for'rapid' tests (non-instrument based tests performed in thedoctor's office) and confirmatory tests for the clinical lab," saidThomas K. Ng, president of Genelabs' diagnostic division. "Inaddition, we will continue to build our established presence inthe Asian Pacific market for screening tests used by bloodbanks."

Genelabs stock closed unchanged on Tuesday at $7 a share.

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