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Clarient Acquires AGI In All-Stock Merger

Clarient, a provider of comprehensive anatomic pathology and molecular testing services, will acquire Huntsville, Ala.-based Applied Genomics in an all-stock merger worth up to $17.6 million. The agreement will give Clarient access to the rapidly increasing epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) testing market. AGI will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Clarient. Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based Clarient is eager to utilize AGI's pipeline, particularly AGI's Pulmotype test for lung cancer. Pulmotype is a five-antibody immunohistochemistry test that helps clinicians distinguish between adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma in non-small cell lung cancer. Tumor type is a determining factor in how patients respond to different therapies. There is currently no widely accepted molecular-based tool to classify tumors. Clarient already tests for EGFR mutations in various cancers, including non-small cell lung cancer. According to CEO Ronald Andrews, having the initial tumor sample at the time of diagnosis will allow Clarient to control the tissue as further diagnostic and prognostic testing takes place, thus allowing physicians to make more effective treatment decisions. Clarient plans to commercialize Pulmotype by the first quarter of 2010. AGI also has a pipeline of tests for a variety of cancers including lung, breast, and ovarian cancer. AGI's breast cancer panel uses proprietary markers that could be included in a future version of Clarient's Insight, a breast cancer test launched in May. Insight helps physicians calculate the probability of a patient's cancer returning. Related video: Ronald Andrews, CEO of Clarient

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