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Agilent, Beckman Coulter, Luminex, Illumina, Sigma-Aldrich, Roche, Alnylam, Nanosphere

Agilent’s Bio-Analytical Measurement Segment Posts 19 Percent Q3 Revenue Gains
 
Agilent Technologies this week reported third-quarter revenue of $1.37 billion, up 11 percent from revenue of $1.24 billion in the comparable quarter a year ago.
 
The firm’s Bio-Analytical Measurement segment reported third-quarter revenue growth of 19 percent to $500 million, compared with $420 million in last year’s third quarter. Excluding the contribution of Stratagene’s products, sales for the segment increased 15 percent.
 
Agilent completed its $250 million acquisition of Stratagene in early June (see BioCommerce Week 6/13/2007). Its third quarter ended on July 31.
 
Within the Bio-Analytical Measurement segment, life sciences sales increased 22 percent to $209 million while chemical analysis revenues rose 17 percent to $291 million. Orders for the segment were up 21 percent year over year.
 
The increase was due to “sustained strength in the pharmaceutical and biotech markets” leading to increased sales of its 1200 Series liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, and LC / MS platforms.
 
"Initial integration activities are going well, and we are enthusiastic about the synergy between Stratagene's bio-reagents and Agilent's analytical instruments to better serve customers in both commercial and not-for-profit life sciences applications,” said Agilent’s CEO, Bill Sullivan, in a statement.
 
The Electronic Measurement segment had 7 percent revenue growth to $874 million, compared with $819 million in the comparable quarter a year ago. However, orders for the segment were flat and affected by a 24 percent decline in orders from Japan.
 
Agilent posted net income of $185 million, or $.45 per share, down 19 percent from net income of $227 million, or $.54 per share, in the third quarter last year. The 2006 third quarter included a gain of $65 million, or $.15 per share, on the sale of the firm’s Palo Alto, Calif., site.
 
Agilent’s R&D spending rose 5 percent to $170 million from $162 million.
 
The firm finished the quarter with $1.5 billion in cash and cash equivalents.
 
Agilent said that for its fiscal fourth quarter it expects “a softer than normal seasonal increase in revenues because of weak Asian electronic measurement markets.” The firm predicted Q4 revenues in the range of $1.39 billion to $1.43 billion.
 

 
Beckman Coulter Files for Resale of Convertible Notes
 
Beckman Coulter has filed a registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for the resale of $600 million in 2.5 percent convertible senior notes due 2036. The registration allows holders to resell the securities with certain conditions.
 
The company said it will not receive any proceeds from the resale of the securities by the selling holders.
 
Beckman issued the notes in December 2006. At the time, it said it planned to use the funds to pay outstanding debts and to fund R&D projects.
 

 
Luminex Adjusts Goodwill Asset Related to Tm Buy
 
Luminex said last week that it has allocated $23.3 million out of a $65.4 million goodwill balance associated with its March acquisition of Tm Bioscience to "intangible assets" and has updated its second-quarter financial statement accordingly.
 
The company said the value of the goodwill asset was subject to adjustment, based on final transaction costs related to the deal, including costs based on Tm Bioscience's fair market valuation relative to the company's assets and liabilities.
 
Luminex said it has completed a portion of its valuation analysis, and has allocated a portion of the goodwill balance to intangible assets and in-process research and development.
 
Of the $23.3 million, Luminex said $8 million of those assets were allocated for in-process R&D and expensed during the second quarter. In addition, the company amortized $859,000 for the quarter and will continue to amortize $850,000 per quarter going forward.
 
The company said it expects the remaining purchase price analysis and allocation will be completed during the third quarter of this year.
 

 
Illumina Files for Resale of Convertible Notes
 
Illumina said this week that it has filed a resale registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission connected to the sale of $400 million worth of .625 percent convertible senior notes due 2014.
 
The notes were originally sold in February to institutional investors, and Illumina said at the time it planned to use $200 million of the proceeds to buy shares of its own stock in a private deal.
 

 
Sigma-Aldrich Declares Dividend
 
Sigma-Aldrich said this week that its board of directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $.115 per share.
 
The dividend is payable on Sept. 14 to shareholders of record on Aug. 31.
 

 
Roche Inks RNAi Alliance, Investment with Alnylam
 
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals said last week that it has closed its previously announced strategic alliance with Roche, under which Roche agreed to license an Alnylam RNAi therapeutic technology platform and certain intellectual property, acquire one of Alnylam’s labs, and work with the firm on drug-discovery projects.
 
Under the agreement, Roche will make aggregate payments to Alnylam of around $331 million, including an upfront cash payment within ten business days of the closing in connection with the license.
 
In addition, the Roche Venture Fund has purchased 1.975 million shares of Alnylam common stock for a total of $42.5 million.
 
Roche also closed the purchase of an Alnylam lab in Kulmbach, Germany, for an undisclosed sum.
 
BioCommerce Week sister publication RNAi News reported last month that Alnylam will have to pay around $30 million to other partners, primarily Isis Pharmaceuticals, from which it has licensed IP covered under the Roche deal.
 
The pact is the latest in a series of deals by Roche aimed at expanding its portfolio of molecular biology research and diagnostics products.
 

 
Nanosphere Files for IPO
 
Molecular diagnostics developer Nanosphere this week filed a prospectus with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for its initial public offering.
 
The NorthBrook, Ill.-based company plans to trade on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol "NSPH."
 
Nanosphere has not set a price for its stock, nor did it state in the filing how much money it plans to raise through the initial sale of its shares. However, it is aiming to raise at least $90 million: The company said in the filing that it expects to use $50 million of net proceeds from the IPO to back ongoing R&D and $40 million to support addition sales and marketing personnel and initiatives.
 
Piper Jaffray, Leerink Swann, Credit Suisse, and Allen & Co. are listed in the filing as underwriters.
 
Nanosphere said it will offer an underwriter's over-allotment option, but did not say how many shares it expects to be available.
 
According to its prospectus, Nanosphere reported $1.1 million in revenues for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006, and $1.9 million in revenues for 2005.
 
Its net loss attributable to common stock was $43.9 million for 2006 and $18.7 million for 2005.
 
The company had $34.5 million in cash and cash equivalents as of March 31.
 
Nanosphere develops, makes, and sells the Verigene System, which it said "enables simple, low cost and highly sensitive genomic and protein testing on a single platform."
 
The company said in the filing that earlier this year it submitted the Verigene System and two assays to the US Food and Drug Administration for 510(k) clearance: one for genetic mutations associated with hyper-coagulation and another for warfarin metabolism. Neither the Verigene System nor the tests have been cleared yet.
 
The company said it is developing more assays, "including tests for cystic fibrosis and for a range of infectious diseases” including herpes simplex virus, human papillomavirus, and respiratory viruses.
 
Nanosphere also is developing diagnostic tests for cancer and for neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, and infectious diseases.
 
The company acquired its core IP from a licensing arrangement with Northwestern University that also carries the opportunity for access to ongoing research at the school.

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