Novartis has agreed a deal to acquire haematology and oncology diagnostics specialist Genoptix.

The pharmaceutical company has commenced a tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of Genoptix, with the board members of the acquired firm having already approved the transaction.

When the deal closes in the first half of 2011, Genoptix will become part of Novartis Molecular Diagnostics and will assist the company’s development of companion diagnostic programmes.

This will allow Novartis to advance the field of personalised medicine by offering improved methods of selecting patients for individually-focused treatment options.

Joseph Jimenez, chief executive officer of Novartis, said: “Genoptix is an innovative company with a talented team of people who share our commitment to transforming the way medicine is practiced.”

Earlier this week, Novartis won a recommendation for European regulatory approval of Gilenya, which could be set to become the region’s first available oral treatment for sufferers of multiple sclerosis.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-800362167-ADNFCR