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Aclara Biosciences Reports Drop in Revenue, But Losses Narrow

NEW YORK, July 27 – Aclara Biosciences said Friday that its revenues dropped slightly during the second quarter of 2001, to $849,000 from $950,000 during the same period a year ago.

The decrease is a result of lower revenue from the company’s collaborations, the manufacturer of lab-on-a-chip microfluidic assay devices said. The revenue decrease was partially offset by higher revenue from product sales and research grants.

Operating expenses dropped to $6.1 million from $9.3 million during the second quarter a year ago. Although the the Mountain View, Calif.-based company spent $1.6 million more, or $5.5 million, on research and development than in the same quarter a year ago, a payment of $2.4 million to settle litigation against Caliper accounted for Aclara's lower operating expenses. During the first quarter of this year, Aclara incurred a charge of $4.8 million related to settling a lawsuit with Caliper Technologies over misappropriation of trade secrets. 

The company’s net loss dropped to $3.2 million for the second quarter of 2001, or 9 cents a share, down from $4.9 million, or 15 cents a share, during the second quarter a year ago. On a pro forma basis, however, the company reported a net loss of $5.0 million, or 14 cents a share, compared to a pro forma net loss of $2.9 million, or 9 cents a share, for the year-ago quarter. 

Aclara is developing chemistry to detect the presence and quantify the amount of proteins in a liquid sample, as well as other products for gene expression analysis and nucleic acid sample processing.

"We continue to make excellent progress in the development of Aclara's proprietary eTag technology for multiplexed gene expression analysis," Aclara CEO Joseph Limber said in a statement. “The GeneMate reader is also progressing as expected, and we continue to anticipate initial placements at test sites beginning in third quarter of 2001. Finally, our LabCard chips for nucleic acid sample processing is progressing on schedule, and we continue to expect beta testing of this product to begin before the end of 2001.”

Aclara had $182.9 million in cash as of June 30. At the end of the first quarter this year, the company had $188 million.

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