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Bruker BioSciences, Thermo Electron, NCI, Stratagene, Molecular Devices, Serologicals

Bruker CEO Takes 20 Percent Pay Cut in ‘05 As Company Seeks $3M A Year Savings

Bruker BioSciences announced another round of cost-cutting and restructuring on Monday to save the company $3 million a year, and another $1 million next year.

Bruker will move all its German administrative and life science business activities to its site in Bremen, and its German nuclear, biological, and chemical detection business to its Leipzig site. Moreover, the UK operations of subsidiaries Bruker AXS and Bruker Daltonics will be combined into one, based in Coventry.

In addition, Bruker said it will cut costs throughout the company, particularly at its non-profitable US subsidiaries in Billerica, Mass., and Madison, Wis.

Bruker’s CEO Frank Laukien will take a 20-percent pay cut next year. Combined with pay cuts for other managers and other temporary measures, this will save the company another $1 million in 2005, the company said.

Bruker has also incorporated sales subsidiaries in several countries “where the business volume has reached critical mass,” according to a company statement.

A Bruker spokesperson did not know whether the cost-saving measures, which will be fully implemented in the second half of 2005, would result in job cuts.

This is Bruker’s second round of restructuring this year. In September, the company laid off 60 staffers and reorganized its business to save $6 million per year (see BCW 11/11/2004)

Thermo Electron Secures $250M In Revolving Credit Through 2009

Thermo Electron has signed a five-year agreement for up to $250 million in a revolving line of credit with Barclays Bank, Thermo said in an SEC filing this week.

The agreement replaces existing one-year and three-year credit agreements, which were set to expire on Dec. 17, 2004 and Dec. 20, 2005, respectively.

The aggregate amount of the credit may be increased at Thermo’s request by up to $100 million, the filing said.

The company said in the filing that it has not borrowed any amount under the current or prior credit agreements.

NCI Earmarks $1M in SBIR Funding For Cancer Technology Projects

The National Cancer Institute is setting aside roughly $1 million to fund three to five Phase I and Phase II Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer cancer-technology development projects during 2006, according to the National Institutes of Health.

In a request for applications, the NIH said the NCI will fund projects focused on developing technologies suitable for the molecular analysis of cancers and their host environment in support of basic, clinical, and epidemiological research.

Examples of technologies and tools of interest under the RFA are ones for in vitro scanning for and identification of the sites of chromosomal aberrations which reflect inherited aberrations or somatic alterations resulting from aging or oxidation, or exposure to radiation or carcinogens, including those that are suitable for scaling for use across whole genomes, detecting DNA adducts, or detecting rare variants in mixed populations; technologies for detection and characterization of nucleic acid sequences of novel exogenous infectious agents that may be present in human cancer; and technologies to elucidate molecular modifications of macromolecules that may be indicative of and critical to the transformation process, said the NIH.

Letters of intent are due by Jan. 17, 2005; May 17, 2005; and Sept. 18, 2005. Applications are due Feb. 17, 2005; June 17, 2005; and Oct. 18, 2005.

Stratagene Launches RT-PCR Instrument

Stratagene on Wednesday announced the launch of the Mx3005P Real-Time PCR system.

The new product is list-priced at $29,900, the company said. It supports all fluorescent dyes and chemistries and is offered with optional training, support, and service.

Stratagene has not taken a license to Applera’s RT-PCR instrumentation US patent (see story page 1), CFO Reg Jones told BioCommerce Week on Wednesday. Applera filed suit against Stratagene last month, claiming infringement.

Finkel Sells 500,000 Shares of MDCC for $10.65 Million

Alan Finkel, chief technology officer of Molecular Devices, sold $10.65 million worth of stock in the company, according to SEC filings.

He sold 500,000 shares of stock held by he and his wife Elizabeth, at prices ranging from $20.94 to $21.45. The couple were co-founders of Axon Instruments, which was acquired by Molecular Devices in July. Finkel was Axon's CEO.

Serologicals Nets $105 Million in Public Offering

Serologicals obtained $105.16 million in net proceeds from the closing of its previously announced public offering of 4,830,000 shares of its common stock at a price of $22.80 per share, the company said this week.

The company will use $80 million to repay loans, with the remainder for strategic initiatives, the company said.


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