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Becton Dickinson, Bruker BioSciences, Tm Bioscience, Illumina, Solexa, GenoLogics, Roche, Sequenom, Lenetix, PerkinElmer, Vanderbilt, Univ. of Michigan, Invitrogen

BD’s Q1 Revenues Rise 8 Percent Led by Biosciences Unit
Becton Dickinson last week said fiscal first-quarter 2007 revenues increased 8 percent as R&D spending surged 185 percent and profit dropped 35 percent.
Total receipts for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2006, increased to $1.5 billion from $1.4 billion year over year.
BD said revenues from its Diagnostics segment increased 2 percent to $442 million, while Biosciences revenue increased 11 percent to $232 million. Revenue from the Medical segment climbed 10 percent to $826 million.    
R&D spending for the quarter increased to $195 million from $68.3 million year over year. Contributing to the increase was a $115 million charge related to the completion of its acquisition of TriPath Imaging.
Net profits for the quarter slid to $142.9 million from $217.9 million in the year-ago period.
The company did not disclose its cash holdings.

Bruker Expects 26 Percent Rise in Q4 Revenue
Bruker BioSciences last week said it expects to report fourth-quarter revenue of between $130 million and $135 million — an increase of up to 26 percent over fourth-quarter 2005 revenues.
In a preliminary earnings statement, Bruker said it expects full-year 2006 revenues in the range of $430 million to $435 million — growth of up to 17 percent over full-year 2005 revenues.
Bruker said that it has adjusted its historical financial results to account for its acquisition of Bruker Optics last July. As a result, the company reported pooled revenue of $106.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2005 and $372.3 million for the full year.
Bruker said it expects to report earnings of $.07 to $.09 per share for the fourth quarter.
Bruker said it expects "modest" improvement in income and revenue for the first quarter of 2007.
Bruker's CFO William Knight said the fourth quarter traditionally "has been our best quarter of the year, and our fourth quarter 2006 was particularly strong.”
Bruker will release its full results for the fourth quarter and for the full year of 2006 on Feb. 22.

Tm Shareholders to Vote on Luminex Acquisition;
Tm’s Reagents Used in Warfarin Study
Tm Bioscience shareholders will vote on Feb. 23 to decide whether Luminex will acquire the company, Tm said last week.
Luminex said on Dec. 15 it had agreed in principle to purchase Tm in a stock-for-stock deal in which Luminex would buy a 41.5 percent stake in Tm. Luminex said it plans to deliver Tm’s kits and reagents to wider markets through its sales channels.
Tm, based in Toronto, said a superior court in Ontario has approved the vote and, should the company’s shareholders approve the deal, the court will consider the acquisition on Feb. 27.
In a separate announcement this week, Tm said that it will supply reagents to Medco Health Solutions and Mayo Collaborative Services for a joint clinical study of warfarin patients.
Under the agreement, Mayo and Medco will use Tm’s Tag-It reagents for P450-2C9 and VKORC1 in a study to determine whether genetic tests can cut costs and improve care for patients taking the blood-thinner warfarin.

Illumina Completes Acquisition of Solexa
Illumina last week said that it has closed its $600 million acquisition of Solexa.
"We are excited to join the two companies, creating the only company with genome-scale technology for genotyping, gene expression, and sequencing, the three cornerstones of modern genetic analysis," Illumina CEO Jay Flatley said in a statement.
"With Solexa's recent technical achievements we look forward to the rapid commercialization of our next-generation sequencing platform," he added.
In connection with the merger, Illumina has increased the size of its board from eight to 10 members, adding Blaine Bowman and Roy Whitfield, both of whom were Solexa directors.
Illumina will report its fourth-quarter financial results on Feb. 1.

GenoLogics to Integrate Lab Software with Illumina Applications
GenoLogics this week said it will integrate its Geneus lab management software with Illumina’s SNP gene expression and genotyping applications.
GenoLogics’ Geneus software is designed for integration with multiple platforms and various genomics applications. The company said the software can be customized for individual labs.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

Roche Integrates PCR System with Caliper Microplate
Handler, Protedyne Robotics System
Roche Diagnostics has integrated its LightCycler 480 PCR system with Caliper Life Sciences’ Twister microplate handler into a single platform, Roche said last week.
The firms have also signed a co-marketing agreement to push the integrated product.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.
Separately last week Roche integrated its LightCycler with a bench-top robotics system made by Protedyne to help enable high-throughput PCR applications.
Roche said the companies also signed a global co-marketing agreement to offer the combined platform to their customers.
Under the collaboration, Roche’s LightCycler 480 and Protedyne’s Radius system have been integrated to provide an automated system for tailored throughput.
The LightCycler “plugs into” the Radius robot, explained Roche Diagnostics spokeswoman Doyia Turner. The robot then controls the Lightcycler and handles all of the tasks from sample prep through PCR setup.
The Radius uses Protedyne’s multiple protocol software and its SmartTools, which calibrates setting information and tracks data concerning performance.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

Sequenom, Lenetix to Collaborate on Prenatal Dx Test
Sequenom and genetic screening company Lenetix have entered into a licensing and development collaboration to develop and market a prenatal Rhesus D incompatibility test, the companies said this week.
The non-invasive test will be based on Sequenom’s patent rights and RT-PCR methodology, and is expected to be on the US market in the first half of 2007, the companies said.
RhD, a state of blood incompatibility between a pregnant woman and her fetus, can lead to death from anemia. The companies said RhD occurs in 10 percent of US pregnancies, or 400,000 cases per year.
Sequenom CEO Harry Stylii said the collaboration is an important development for the company as it continues its strategy in the non-invasive prenatal diagnostics market.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

PE Board Declares Dividend, Amends Bylaws
PerkinElmer’s board of directors last week declared a quarterly dividend of $.07 per share of common stock.
The dividend is payable on May 11 to all shareholders of record at the close of business on April 20.
In a separate announcement this week, PerkinElmer said that its board had adopted amendments to the company’s bylaws and articles of organization that, if approved by shareholders, will implement a majority voting standard for the election of directors.
Shareholders will vote on the amendments at the firm’s annual meeting in April.

Vanderbilt, Univ. of Michigan Join Sigma-Aldrich RNAi Partnership Program
Research centers at Vanderbilt University and the University of Michigan have joined Sigma-Aldrich’s RNAi Partnership Program, part of the RNAi Consortium, the company said last week.
Terms of the membership call for the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer and the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Michigan to receive Sigma-Aldrich genomics products, including the TRC shRNA libraries for human and mouse genes, the company said.
Shawn Levy, scientific director of microarray shares resource at the VICC, said the group’s researchers are working on targeted gene-knockdown projects, and said access to the shRNA library will “greatly accelerate their ability to prioritize genes identified from various proteomic and genomic screens."
University of Michigan professor Mikhail Nikiforov said having access to the library is “extremely important for assessing specificity and efficacy of new and existing pharmaceutical agents designed for inhibition of genes and proteins.”
Sigma-Aldrich said it uses its the RNAi Partnership Program to advance functional genomics research by giving academic researchers access to the company’s new technologies and select IP. Other partnering organizations include Washington University, Princeton University, and Rutgers University.

Texas Research Institutions to Use Invitrogen’s siRNA Library
A consortium of Texas research institutions studying genomics and disease will use Invitrogen’s siRNA library and screening tools to study cancer, diabetes, and metabolic disorders, the company said this week.
Researchers at six locations, including the University of Texas at Houston and at Galveston, Baylor College, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and Rice University, will use Invitrogen’s human kinase and human and mouse nuclear receptor collections in high-throughput image-based screening and gene expression experimental research.
The consortium, known as the Gulf Coast Consortium for Chemical Genomics, will use Invitrogen’s SYBR GreenER qPCR technology, and its Molecular Probes image tools to measure various effects on siRNA molecules.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

The Scan

Study Links Evolution of Longevity, Social Organization in Mammals

With the help of comparative phylogenetics and transcriptomics, researchers in Nature Communications see ties between lifespan and social organization in mammals.

Tumor Microenvironment Immune Score Provides Immunotherapy Response, Prognostic Insights

Using multiple in situ analyses and RNA sequence data, researchers in eBioMedicine have developed a score associated with immunotherapy response or survival.

CRISPR-Based Method for Finding Cancer-Associated Exosomal MicroRNAs in Blood

A team from China presents in ACS Sensors a liposome-mediated membrane fusion strategy for detecting miRNAs carried in exosomes in the blood with a CRISPR-mediated reporter system.

Drug Response Variants May Be Distinct in Somatic, Germline Samples

Based on variants from across 21 drug response genes, researchers in The Pharmacogenomics Journal suspect that tumor-only DNA sequences may miss drug response clues found in the germline.