DNA company makes acquisition

Illumina, the leading manufacturer of DNA sequencing machines, said Monday that it would buy the privately held Verinata Health for at least $350 million in cash to expand its push into the diagnostics business.

Verinata, based in Redwood City, Calif., sells a test that uses a blood sample from a pregnant woman to determine whether her baby will have Down syndrome or some other chromosomal abnormalities.

Such tests have been rapidly catching on as an alternative, in some situations, to invasive tests like amniocentesis that carry a slight risk of inducing a miscarriage.

This image is copyrighted.