BASEL, Switzerland ( TheStreet) -- Novartis ( NVS), the Swiss drugmaker, agreed to acquire Genoptix ( GXDX) for $25 a share, or $470 million.

Novartis, in a statement Monday, said the acquisition price represents a 39% over Genoptix's "unaffected" price of $17.98 on Dec. 13, 2010, the day when rumors of a sale sparked a price surge. Genoptix shares closed Friday at $19.76.

Genoptix specializes in diagnosing cancers in bone marrow, blood and lymph nodes.

Novartis said the acquisition of Genoptix "will enhance Novartis's tools and services that aim to improve health outcomes for patients by advancing the ability to define and monitor individualized treatment programs."

The acquisition is expected to close within the first half of 2011.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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