Agilent Technologies said today it will invest $80 million in Lasergen and take a 48% stake in the developer of a next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology.
The deal also gives Agilent the option to acquire the remaining shares of Lasergen by March 2, 2018, for an additional $105 million.
Agilent said the companies will collaborate to build a NGS solutions workflow for clinical applications. That workflow will be based on Lasergen’s Lightning Terminators™ sequencing chemistry, which according to the companies offers potentially faster, more accurate, and less expensive genome sequencing than other technologies now being marketed.
Lasergen says its Lightning Terminators are specifically being developed as part of an NGS platform that includes chemistry, instrumentation, and software.
Based in Houston, privately held Lasergen was founded in 2002 and focuses on developing and commercializing unique nucleotide chemistries with a particular focus on sequencing.
“Our investment and collaboration are designed to accelerate Lasergen’s work in commercializing their novel technology, focused on developing a sequencing workflow aimed at clinical applications,” Jacob Thaysen, president of Agilent’s Diagnostics and Genomics Group, said in a statement. “Agilent is investing in a team and technology that hold great promise for the future of genetic sequencing.”
Agilent said its investment in Lasergen will dilute its earnings per share by two to three cents in both its 2016 and 2017 fiscal years. However, the company said its overall guidance to investors remains unchanged.
In reporting results for the first quarter of FY2016 on February 16, Agilent offered guidance for the full fiscal year of between $4.10 billion and $4.12 billion in revenue and between $1.81 and $1.87 per share in non-GAAP earnings.