Bird & Bird's Biosciences Team Advise on Significant DNA Testing Deal

20 February 2001

International law firm, Bird & Bird, has advised Orchid Biosciences Inc. on the acquisition of all assets of the AstraZeneca's Cellmark Diagnostics business, a leading provider of genetic diversity testing services in the United Kingdom.

The acquisition, will lead to innovative developments in bioscience research and analysis, reinforcing Orchid's position as a leading provider of genetic diversity testing services and providing a base for the expansion of Orchid's business in Europe. Orchid will provide a range of its existing services to customers and collaborators through its Cellmark subsidiary.

Bird & Bird's corporate team was led by partner and biosciences specialist, John Wilkinson, advising Orchid on the acquisition of all assets of Cellmark Diagnostics, which is a subsidiary of AstraZeneca. AstraZeneca was advised by its in-house legal team.

Commenting on the acquisition, John Wilkinson said:

"This deal is great news for both Orchid and Cellmark, and will enable Orchid to extend its service across Europe. It will provide a firm basis for Cellmark and Orchid to develop their pioneering expertise in DNA testing in a number of areas from forensic and relationship testing to sophisticated genetic diversity testing services for the pharmaceutical industry. It is a sign of the increasingly international nature of transactions in the sector and I am delighted that the Bird & Bird Biosciences team has played a part".

Orchid Biosciences Inc is a US based biotechnology company listed on the NASDAQ exchange. It is a leading provider of genetic diversity and other testing to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry and to academic customers. Through its subsidiary GeneScreen, Orchid provides forensic, relationship and transplant testing services to the US market.

For details on the acquisition, please contact John Wilkinson on +44 (0) 20 7415 6000.