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ABI, Bruker BioSciences, Beckman Coulter, Biosite, Perlegen Sciences, Waters, Northeastern Univ., Thermo Fisher, Sequenom

ABI Posts 8 Percent Revenue Growth in Q3
 
Applied Biosystems last week said that its fiscal third-quarter 2007 revenues increased 8 percent as R&D spending rose 13 percent and profit tumbled 40 percent, due to a large gain in the comparable quarter a year ago.
 
Total revenue for the three months ended March 31 increased to $529.9 million from $490.7 million year over year.
 
ABI said that sequencing revenue ticked up 3 percent to $140.7 million; RT-PCR sales increased 13 percent to $183.3 million; mass spec sales increased 12 percent to $127.3 million; core PCR and DNA synthesis dropped 9 percent to $47 million; while other products rose 20 percent to $31.7 million.
 
Applera CEO and ABI Interim President Tony White said in a statement that the company is seeing “good progress,” and he highlighted the growth in the sequencing, PCR, and mass spec sales.
 
White also said that the company “continue[s] to see high growth in the applied markets of human identification and quality and safety testing and in the emerging categories.” 
 
White also said during the firm’s third-quarter conference call that the firm has seen somewhat of a pick-up in the pharma spending market. “We have seen some encouraging signs on the pharma market, and I think some of our results for the quarter reflect that,” he said. “Unfortunately, the patterns in the academic side in the US seem to be following last year.”
 
R&D spending in the quarter increased to $54.4 million from $48 million year over year.
 
ABI said its profit in the quarter fell to $75.5 million, or $.39 per share, from $124.4 million, or $.65 per share, in the year-ago period.
 
For the third quarter of fiscal 2007, the company recorded pre-tax items attributable to amortization expense related to acquired intangibles that decreased income before taxes by approximately $2.8 million.
 
During the third quarter of fiscal 2006, ABI recorded pre-tax items that decreased income before taxes by approximately $5.4 million. These items included a net charge of $1.6 million related to the resolution of legal disputes; a pre-tax charge of $3.4 million to write off the value of acquired in-process R&D in connection with the acquisition of Ambion; a charge of $1.3 million attributed to amortization expense related to acquired intangibles; and a favorable pre-tax adjustment of $900,000 for a previously recorded asset impairment.
 
The period also included tax benefits of $63.3 million related to a completed IRS exam, a state valuation allowance reversal, and research and development credits.
 
On a non-GAAP basis, ABI’s earnings per share were up 6 percent year over year.
 
The company said it expects “high single digit to low double digit” revenue growth for fiscal 2007.
 

 
Bruker’s Q1 Revenues Rise 16.5 Percent
 
Bruker BioSciences this week said that its first-quarter revenues increased 16.5 percent as R&D spending rose 11 percent and profit grew 19 percent.
 
The firm posted total revenue of $110.5 million for the three months ended March 31, compared with revenue of $94.9 million in the first quarter last year.
 
Bruker’s product revenues increased 14 percent to $95.4 million, while service revenue increased 43 percent to $15 million, and “other” revenue declined 76 percent to $154,000.
 
Bruker reported a first-quarter profit of $3.9 million, or $.04 per share, from $3.3 million, or $.03 per share, in the year-ago period.
 
The firm’s R&D spending rose to $13.6 million from $12.3 million in the year-ago period.
 
CEO Frank Laukien said the company saw “strong year-over-year growth and solid improvements in our gross margins and operating income.”
 
Bruker had around $55.7 million in cash, equivalents, and short-term investments as of March 31.
 

 
Beckman Coulter Posts 7.8 Percent Q1 Revenue Growth,
Matches Inverness’ Bid for Biosite
 
Beckman Coulter this week reported that its first-quarter revenue had increased 7.8 percent year over year to $613.6 million from $569 million.
 
The firm’s product revenues for the quarter were $512.4 million, up 8.2 percent on product revenue of $473.4 million in the comparable quarter a year ago. Its service revenue grew 5.9 percent to $101.2 million from $95.6 million.
 
Beckman posted net income of $37.1 million, or $.59 per share, compared with a profit of $32.6 million, or $.50 per share, in the first quarter of 2006.
 
Its bottom line was hit by $6.9 million in restructuring costs in the quarter compared to $1.1 million in restructuring charges last year.
 
Beckman’s R&D spending increased slightly to $57.8 million from $54.6 million year over year.
 
The firm finished the quarter with $89.3 million in cash and cash equivalents.
 
Beckman also said this week that it has matched Inverness Medical Innovations’ offer to acquire Biosite.
 
As a result, Beckman and Biosite have signed a new agreement under which Beckman would buy Biosite for $90 a share, a per-share increase of $5 over the firm’s original bid.
 
The deal would now be worth an estimated $1.67 billion.
 
Biosite said last week it intended to accept a rival offer from Inverness, whose unsolicited bid raised the ante from $85 per share to $90 per share.
 
Biosite said that all “necessary regulatory clearances have been received,” and said it will provide more detailed information about the new agreement this week.
 
Beckman Coulter has also extended the new offer until the end of the day on May 15. Under the terms of the amended agreement, Beckman is not obligated to extend the amended offer beyond that date, but retains the right to do so.
 

 
Perlegen Withdraws IPO, Names Interim CEO
 
Perlegen Sciences has withdrawn its plans for an initial public offering, according to a letter the company sent to the US Securities and Exchange Commission this week.
 
Perlegen, a subsidiary of Affymetrix, separately said it has named former Chiron official Bryan Walser as its interim CEO.
 
In his April 30 SEC letter, Affy CEO Stephen Fodor said Perlegen’s board last May “determined not to proceed with the offering” after its lead underwriters advised the company to wait for “the outcome of certain genetic studies in connection with an important, ongoing research initiative.”
 
Perlegen filed for an IPO last April, saying it hoped to raise as much as $115 million.
 
In Monday’s letter, Fodor wrote that coincidentally with the board’s decision to scuttle the IPO, the company’s audit committee found that in 2005 Perlegen had billed the federal government around $1.3 million for costs related to a contract “that were not properly recoverable.”
 
Fodor said the company credited those costs back to the government, and that the audit committee had advised Perlegen it must “strengthen controls related to government contracting activities, as well as the company’s overall internal control and compliance environment.”
 
These changes would include “changes in financial reporting management, structure and personnel” of Perlegen, Fodor added. 
 
Fodor, who is also chairman of Perlegen’s board, said in a separate statement that Bryan Walser will take over management for the company’s operations and its organizational development, and will work on “honing Perlegen’s strategic mission.”
 
Walser had previously worked as vice president of strategy and corporate affairs at Chiron.
 
"While our board envisioned expanding the senior team with the recruitment of a new CEO and was in the process of starting a formal search, the chance to bring Dr. Walser into the company presented itself, and we decided to take advantage of the opportunity,” Fodor said in the statement.
 
Fodor added that the hunt for a new CEO will continue but that Walser remains a candidate for the permanent CEO position.
 

 
Waters, Northeastern Univ. Open Mass Spec Lab
 
Northeastern University and Waters have opened a new mass-spectrometry lab in the Barnett Institute of Chemical and Biological Analysis, the company said this week.
 
The Waters Mass Spectrometry Laboratory has been outfitted with four of the company’s mass spectrometers, Waters said.
 
The company said the Boston-based lab is “dedicated to studying protein shapes and characteristics” in order to provide pharmaceutical and biotech researchers new tools to develop new treatments for diseases such as AIDS and cancer.
 

 
Thermo Fisher Sells Environmental Analyzer to Canadian Lab
 
Thermo Fisher Scientific has sold a benchtop HiperTOC environmental analyzer to an undisclosed Canadian analytical lab, Thermo said this week.
 
Thermo said the product detects the presence of organic compounds at a presence of .04 parts per million, which go beyond the US Environmental Protection Agency’s standards concerning the presence of organic compounds in drinking water.
 
The HiperTOC runs four different oxidation techniques, including high-temperature oxidation, UV/persulfate, UV ultra pure, and an ozone promoted method.
 
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.
 

 
Sequenom Sells $20M in Stock to Institutional Investors
 
Sequenom has netted $18.4 million after selling $20 million of its common stock to several new and existing institutional investors, the company said this week.
 
Last week, Sequenom said it would sell 6.7 million shares at $3 apiece, a $.01 premium over the stock’s closing price at that time.
 
Lehman Brothers and Rodman & Renshaw acted as placement agents for the transaction.

The Scan

And Back

The New York Times reports that missing SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences are back in a different database.

Lacks Family Hires Attorney

A lawyer for the family of Henrietta Lacks plans to seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies that have used her cancer cells in product development, the Baltimore Sun reports.

For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.