Digene buys Dutch firm, specialist in cancer tests

Maryland Watch

August 19, 1998

Digene Corp. of Beltsville has acquired Viropath BV, a Dutch company that has been developing tests and other products for cervical cancer. The purchase was accomplished through a stock swap worth an estimated $1.5 million.

Under the terms of the stock purchase agreement, Digene purchased all of the outstanding capital stock of Viropath in exchange for 181,884 shares of newly issued Digene common stock.

The deal closed in July but was not disclosed until yesterday, said Charles M. Fleischman, chief financial officer for Digene. The company's shares closed yesterday at $9.43, down 9 cents.

The company said Viropath founders Chris Meijer and Jan Walboomers of the Free University of Amsterdam will serve as consultants to Digene.

Digene said the purchase will expand Digene's proprietary position in the field of cervical cancer screening based on a test for the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Researchers have determined that sexually transmitted HPV plays a major role in causing cervical cancer. Digene markets a DNA-based test for HPV in the United States

Pub Date: 8/19/98

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