RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Embrex, which provides inoculations for poultry against various diseases, is being sold.

Pfizer Animal health, a division of health giant Pfizer, said Wednesday morning it would acquire Embrex for $17 a share. The deal would total some $155 million.

Embrex (NASDAQ: EMBX) shares closed at $11.92 on Tuesday. The company was founded in 1985.

Shares in Embrex jumped $4.70, or more than 39 percent, shortly after the markets opened Wednesday.

By mid-afternoon, the stock was up 40 percent to $16.65. It closed the day at $16.64.

Embrex is best known for its Inovoject technology of vaccinating eggs.

“This acquisition represents an excellent opportunity to leverage
Embrex’s innovative technologies and for Pfizer to reenter the poultry business,” said Juan Ramon Alaix, president of Pfizer Animal Health. “Given the strength and breadth of our current non-poultry product lines and our industry leadership in research, we are confident that Embrex is a strong strategic fit for Pfizer’s business model and our robust new-product pipeline.”

Embrex has some 160 employees in RTP and more than 300 globally. The company had revenues of $52.5 million in 2005.

“Embrex, founded in North Carolina in 1985, pioneered the development and use of in ovo injection technology, an approach that improved the consistency and reliability of vaccine delivery in the poultry industry,” said Randall Marcuson, CEO of Embrex. “As a key addition to Pfizer Animal Health, Embrex welcomes the growth opportunities afforded by Pfizer’s financial and research resources.”

Pfizer Animal Health reported revenues of $2.2 billion in 2005.