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Gen-Probe Bought For $3.7 Billion By Massachusetts Company

The San Diego-based biotech firm Gen-Probe announced today it has agreed to a $3.7 billion buyout by Hologic Inc., a Bedford, Mass., maker of medical devices.

Gen-Probe, with 1,400 employees, produces molecular diagnostic products, including screening tests for sexually transmitted diseases HIV and human papilloma virus, and for West Nile virus.

Hologic's products include equipment for mammograms and breast biopsies, osteoporosis diagnosis and pre-term birth risk assessment.

Hologic will pay $82.75 per share. While the headquarters will remain in Bedford, the company said it will have a significant presence in San Diego.

"This transaction provides compelling cash value for our shareholders and represents an outstanding opportunity for our business,'' said Carl Hull, Gen-Probe's chief executive officer. "Together, Gen-Probe and Hologic will be very well-positioned to pursue a complete range of diagnostic opportunities in women's health, with a stronger focus on the dynamic molecular diagnostics market.''

Rob Cascella, president and CEO of Hologic, called Gen-Probe an ideal partner and strategic fit.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of this year.

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