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Molecular Devices Announces Agreement to Acquire Cytion SA.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., July 10 /PRNewswire/ --

Molecular Devices Corporation (Nasdaq: MDCC) today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement providing for the acquisition of Cytion SA, a Swiss company, for $7.5 million in cash and 400,000 shares of Molecular Devices common stock. Under the terms of the agreement, additional cash consideration would be paid to Cytion shareholders upon the achievement of key milestones. Cytion is developing systems designed to analyze ion channels through automated patch clamping, an area of significant interest to pharmaceutical companies and other life sciences researchers.

Ion channels are one of the most important classes of therapeutic targets. Currently, some of the most valuable information on ion channel activity can be obtained only through an electrophysiological technique known as patch clamping, a painstaking procedure using live cells that requires a highly skilled scientist and typically yields less than 10 successful experiments per day. Feedback from customers in pharmaceutical and other research settings indicates that a higher throughput approach to acquiring such data would be of significant value, an observation which led to Molecular Devices' investment last year in Essen Instruments, a developer of automated electrophysiology solutions. Continued confidence in the potential market for these products resulted in the agreement to acquire Cytion, a company whose products are highly complementary to Essen's. Next year, Molecular Devices expects to launch automated patch clamping solutions covering a wide range of electrophysiological applications.

Commenting on the acquisition, Dr. Joseph D. Keegan, President and CEO of Molecular Devices, said, "We believe that technologies for higher throughput, information-rich ion channel testing represent an important scientific innovation and a substantial market opportunity. We are very excited about the agreement to acquire Cytion, a leading developer of automated patch clamping technology that is well-positioned to address this unmet customer need. Molecular Devices has built a strong reputation as a provider of innovative solutions for ion channel research and, through our investments in higher throughput electrophysiology systems, we intend to further strengthen our leadership position."

Dr. Jean-Pierre Rosat, CEO of Cytion, commented, "We are delighted to join Molecular Devices, a company whose track record for successfully developing and commercializing bioanalytical systems makes them an ideal partner for bringing Cytion's innovative products to the market. We look forward to working closely together to make higher throughput electrophysiology a reality for drug discovery and life sciences researchers."

The transaction is expected to be accounted for as a purchase, remains subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed this month.

Molecular Devices Corporation is a leading supplier of high-performance bioanalytical measurement systems that accelerate and improve drug discovery and other life sciences research. Molecular Devices' systems and consumables enable pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to leverage advances in genomics and combinatorial chemistry by facilitating the high-throughput and cost-effective identification and evaluation of drug candidates. Molecular Devices' instrument systems are based on its advanced core technologies that integrate its expertise in engineering, molecular and cell biology, and chemistry. Molecular Devices enables its customers to improve research productivity and effectiveness, which ultimately accelerates the complex process of discovering and developing new drugs.

Cytion SA is a development-stage company founded in July of 2000 with investors including Banexi Venture Partners (lead investor) and Initiative Capital. Cytion focuses on developing automated electrophysiology solutions based on technology initially developed by Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne and Dr. Christian Schmidt, a founder of Cytion. Cytion is located in Lausanne, Switzerland and employs approximately 20 people.

This press release contains "forward-looking" statements, including statements related to potential future product development. Any statements contained in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Words such as "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "predicts," "expects," "estimates," "intends," "will," "continue," "may," "potential," "should," "confident" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The success of the acquisition and future operating results of Molecular Devices may differ materially from the results discussed or forecasted in the forward-looking statements due to factors that include, but are not limited to, risks associated with acquisitions, such as the potential inability to satisfy the closing conditions for the acquisition, potential difficulties in the assimilation of operations, strategies and technologies of the acquired company, the risk of loss of key personnel of the acquired company and diversion of management attention from other business concerns, and business risks including but, not limited to, risks detailed from time to time in the Company's SEC reports, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2000 and its most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q. Molecular Devices Corporation does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 10, 2001
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