Laboratory Corp of America Holdings, Burlington, NC has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Tandem Labs, Salt Lake City, Utah, and its parent company NWT Inc.

Tandem Labs is a bioanalytical and immunoanalytical contract research organization supporting pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide with discovery, preclinical, and clinical drug development programs. The organization specializes in advanced mass spectrometry, immunoanalytical support, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics.

Tandem will continue to operate under its existing name with its current employee and management structure, as a member of the Esoterix clinical trials group at LabCorp.

The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2008. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The move is expected to strengthen LabCorp’s position in the laboratory and drug development industries, and in the emerging field of companion diagnostics.