Varian to buy oncology practice software provider OpTx Corp.

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Varian Medical Systems Inc. today unveiled an agreement to purchase OpTx Corp., a privately held supplier of software for medical oncology practices in cancer clinics.

Varian will pay approximately $18 million for OpTx's assets, which include OpTxTools software, which the Denver-based company will continue to develop, sell, install and service worldwide as a stand-alone product for medical oncology practices and as part of Varian's VARiS software for coordination with radiation oncology.

The companies expect to close the transaction this month.

The software enables cancer treatment facilities to document patient data, manage clinical trials, track complex drug interactions, administer prescriptions, and schedule treatments for chemotherapy.

Varian has been selling the OpTx software as VARiS MedOncology under a private label agreement with OpTx since 2001.

Varian estimates that the addition of OpTx initially will add annualized revenues of approximately $9 million and be nearly neutral to earnings for Varian's FY04, ending Sept. 30.

"We expect that our worldwide sales, service, and support network will contribute to faster and deeper market penetration for these software products," added Varian Medical Systems Chairman and CEO Richard Levy. "The OpTx software is now installed in about 40 sites, primarily in the United States and Canada."

Some 60 OpTx employees are being offered jobs with Varian. Varian plans to keep OpTx's facilities in Winnipeg and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and in Denver - and in the company's words, "substantially intact."