R&D Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Techne Corp., haspurchased Amgen's research reagent and kit diagnosticbusinesses for approximately $4.5 million.

The sale of all of its diagnostics and reagents business"allows Amgen to focus its research and commercial resourcessolely on (its) human pharmaceutical business," according toAmgen's chief financial officer, Lowell Sears.

Techne of Minneapolis issued Amgen 320,000 shares of itscommon stock (NASDAQ:TECH) and a six-year, 7 percentdebenture convertible into common stock at $9.38 per share.Thomas Oland, Techne president, valued the stock and thedebenture at $2.5 million and $2 million, respectively. Technealso paid Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based Amgen $250,000 in cashagainst future royalties.

R&D Systems, also of Minneapolis, received four diagnosticproducts in the deal, according to Oland: an erythropoietin(EPO) kit, a granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) kit,an interleukin 6 (IL-6) kit and a transferrin receptor kit. TheEPO kit is the only one currently registered with the Food andDrug Administration, Oland told BioWorld.

The reagents include DNA probes, recombinant cytokines,interleukins, antibodies, growth factors and specialtychemicals. Revenue from the four kits and the reagents for theyear ended March 31 was $3.8 million, Oland said.

"The acquisition positions us as a leading supplier of researchreagents related to cytokines and greatly accelerates ourentrance into the clinical diagnostic marketplace," said RogerLucas, executive vice president and chief scientific officer forR&D Systems.

Amgen stock (NASDAQ:AMGN) closed at $145.75, up $2.50, onTuesday. Techne closed up $1 at $9.13.

-- Steve Usdin BioWorld Washington Bureau

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.