Illumina Buys Helixis

San Diego-based Illumina said today it has launched a new, real-time PCR system for the genetic analysis market, and also revealed that it acquired Carlsbad-based Helixis, a developer of those real-time PCR systems. The deal was worth $70M in cash and up to $35M in contingent payouts. Illumina said the acquisition actually occured on April 30th, with Helixis CEO Alex Dickinson becoming Senior Vice President PCR Solutions. Helixis was venture backed by Domain Associates and Okapi Venture Capital, and has raised somewhere north of $17M in funding. The acquisition appears to be the first out of the portfolio of Orange County-based venture firm Okapi Venture Capital.