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Agilent, IDT, Stratagene, Thermo Fisher, Nanogen, Sequenom, Gene Logic

Agilent, IDT to Offer Oligo Synthesis Products and Services
Agilent Technologies and Integrated DNA Technologies will jointly offer oligo synthesis and other products and services to create a "complete development pathway" for drug developers, the companies said last week.
The companies said they will provide reciprocal referrals for synthetic oligonucleotides and will offer chemical and analytical services designed to help customers reduce time and costs associated with moving from research to clinical development.
Under the agreement, IDT will produce small-scale and mid-scale products for use in research and drug screening, while Agilent's Nucleic Acid Solutions division will contribute large-scale quantities of oligos to be used as active pharmaceutical ingredients in clinical trials and drug manufacturing.
IDT COO Trey Martin said the agreement allows the companies to offer a bench-to-bedside oligonucleotide manufacturing package, that includes "harmonized manufacturing methods from basic research scales through API manufacturing."

Stratagene Revenues Flat in Q1
With its acquisition by Agilent pending, Stratagene this week posted flat first-quarter revenues and an 18 percent increase in profit.
Stratagene posted revenues of $24.4 million for the three months ended March 31, virtually flat with revenues of $24.3 million for the first quarter of 2006.
The firm posted a profit of $1.38 million, or $.06 per share, compared with net income of $1.1 million, or $.05 per share, in the comparable period a year ago.
Its R&D spending dropped nearly 10 percent to $3.1 million year over year.
Stratagene finished the quarter with unrestricted cash and cash equivalents of $20.3 million.
The firm is in the process of being acquired by Agilent. The companies received US Federal Trade Commission clearance for the deal last week and expect to complete the transaction by mid-June (see related article).

Thermo Fisher Licenses Protein Search Engine to Sage-N
Thermo Fisher Scientific has sublicensed its Sequest protein search engine software to Sage-N Research, Sage-N said this week.
Under the agreement, Sage-N will develop and sell products based on the proteomic search software, which was originally licensed to Thermo Fisher by the University of Washington.
The company said it uses Sequest with its Sorcerer integrated data appliance, a high-throughput analysis platform.
The combined platform, the Sorcerer Sequest, "has been redesigned from the ground up," and can run on multi-core CPUs, Sage-N said.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

Nanogen’s Q1 Revenues Rise 120 Percent
Nanogen last week said first-quarter revenues increased 120 percent as R&D spending ticked up 4 percent and its net loss decreased by just over one percent.
Total receipts for the three months ended March 31, 2007, increased to $9.7 million from $4.4 million year over year.
The company said product-related revenue nearly tripled to $6.1 million from $2.1 million, and income from licensing and royalties dipped 33 percent to $1.2 million from $1.8 million. Revenue from contracts and grants rose more than five-and-a-half-fold to $2.3 million from $416,000.
Nanogen CEO Howard Birndorf said in a statement that the revenue growth reflects the company's strategy of expanding its product line and the increasing acceptance of its products in the personalized medicine market.
R&D spending rose to $6.5 million from $6.3 million year over year.
The company said its net loss declined to $11.8 million from $12 million in the year-ago period.
Nanogen had around $8.81 million in cash and equivalents and $12.4 million in short-term investments as of March 31.
The company said it expects revenue to grow more than 50 percent for the full year 2007 compared with 2006, when it posted $26.9 million in revenue.  

Investment Bank Initiates Coverage of Sequenom
Investment banking firm Rodman & Renshaw has initiated coverage of Sequenom with a rating of “market outperform.”
Sequenom’s shares closed down $.12 on Tuesday at $3.54.

Nasdaq Biotech Index Drops Gene Logic
Nasdaq said last week that it has dropped Gene Logic from its Biotechnology Index after a semi-annual review of biotechnology companies.
According to the Nasdaq website, companies listed on the Biotechnology Index must maintain a market capitalization value of more than $200 million, an average daily trading volume of at least 100,000 shares, and must meet certain other criteria.
Gene Logic's market cap is currently listed at $48.6 million with volume of 15,872 shares.
Nasdaq reviews and ranks its biotechnology index companies in May and in November. Eligible companies must meet minimum requirements for "market value, average daily share volume and seasoning as a public company.”

The Scan

Study Reveals New Details About Genetics of Major Cause of Female Infertility

Researchers in Nature Medicine conducted a whole-exome sequencing study of mote than a thousand patients with premature ovarian insufficiency.

Circulating Tumor DNA Shows Potential as Biomarker in Rare Childhood Cancer

A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has found that circulating tumor DNA levels in rhabdomyosarcoma may serve as a biomarker for prognosis.

Study Recommends Cancer Screening for Dogs Beginning Age Seven, Depending on Breed

PetDx researchers report in PLOS One that annual cancer screening for dogs should begin by age seven.

White-Tailed Deer Harbor SARS-CoV-2 Variants No Longer Infecting Humans, Study Finds

A new study in PNAS has found that white-tailed deer could act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 variants no longer found among humans.