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Celera Genomics Narrows Loss, Reveals Plans for FY04

NEW YORK, July 23 - The Celera Genomics Group of Applera this morning reported revenues of $21.5 million for the quarter, compared to $28.1 million for the year-ago quarter.


The company's net loss of $19.4 million for its fourth quarter ending June 30, compared to a net loss of $28.8 million for the same period last year.


The Rockville, Md.-based company had R&D expenses of $28.5 million, compared to $36.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2002.


About 40 percent of the company's cash use included funding for Celera Diagnostics, a joint venture of Celera and Applied Biosystems, Applera CFO Dennis Winger said on a conference call to discuss the results.


The company is focusing on therapteutic target identification and partnerships that will further its goal of developing clinical compounds, said Kathy Ordonez, president of Celera Genomics and Celera Diagnostics.


Toward this goal, Celera has increased its drug development staff from 12 to 24, Ordonez said.  The company "believes that at least one of its compounds, most likely one of its partnered compounds, could enter clinical trials during fiscal 2004," Ordonez said.  It is also evaluating therapeutic markers discovered in Celera Diagnostics' genome-based disease association studies.


Celera's proteomics group has processed over 40 lung cancer tumors and matched normal lung samples, and has conducted expression and functional validation studies of cell surface proteins that were identified in an earlier study of pancreatic cancer, Ordonez said, and the company is planning to initiate at least one new discovery program in proteomics, to do target identification and validation in the three existing proteomic oncology programs, and "to potentially establish a collaboration to create value from our proteomics program."


The company is also looking for other partnering opportunities in therapeutic discovery, according to Ordonez.


At the end of June, Celera had $802.4 million in cash and short-term investments.


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