BD Announces Agreement to Acquire GeneOhm Sciences, Inc.


FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. -- BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) announced today that it has signed an agreement to acquire GeneOhm Sciences, Inc., a privately held company headquartered in San Diego, that has pioneered the development of molecular diagnostic testing for the rapid detection of bacterial organisms, including those known to cause healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).

GeneOhm Sciences had 2005 revenues of approximately $5 million and provides BD with expanded entry into the emerging HAI market. Today, nearly 6 million HAIs occur annually across the U.S., Europe and Japan, and are implicated in up to an estimated 90,000 deaths per year in the U.S. alone(1). Many publications have suggested that the use of active surveillance and associated diagnostics could substantially reduce the prevalence of HAIs.

BD has agreed to pay $230 million, plus up to $25 million in additional incentives, for the company. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close by the end of March 2006. The transaction is slightly dilutive; however, BD reaffirms its previous guidance that reported diluted earnings per share from continuing operations for fiscal year 2006 are expected to be in the range of $3.15 to $3.19.  BD will provide further details around this guidance during its first quarter earnings call on Jan. 26, 2006.

GeneOhm Sciences is developing nucleic acid-based assay systems providing rapid results to help transform patient care. Its IDI-MRSA and IDI-Strep B tests are FDA-cleared and are designed to provide an innovative, extremely accurate, and rapid format for these critical tests.  MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a "super bug" known to cause HAIs, and Group B Strep is a health threat to pregnant women and their children during the latter stages of pregnancy.

"A key element of BD's strategy is driving revenue growth through innovation," stated Edward J. Ludwig, chairman, president and CEO of BD.  "This transaction aligns innovative new technologies with BD's existing business strategies and is a natural complement to our core strengths and leadership position in clinical microbiology."

"This agreement represents a significant step forward in BD Diagnostics' strategy to play a leading role in the evolution of molecular diagnostics, and it positions us to become a leader in the prevention of healthcare-associated infections," said William A. Kozy, president of BD Diagnostics. "We believe the molecular opportunities for microbiology will grow at attractive rates for the foreseeable future."

Reference: (1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other sources
Source: BD


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