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James Glynn, Greg Lucier, Peter Ellman, J. David Tholen, Cynthia French, Joseph Keegan, Steven Davenport, Timothy Harkness, Jan Hughes, Gillian Humphries, Robert Murray, and more


Invitrogen this week announced that James Glynn, a member of its board of directors and chief executive officer emeritus, will retire as of April 21. Upon his retirement, Invitrogen will reduce its board size from 10 members to nine.

Glynn joined Invitrogen's board and management team in 1998. He served as CFO before becoming interim CEO. He held that position until Greg Lucier became CEO in May 2003. Glynn previously held executive positions at Matrix Pharmaceuticals, Mycogen, and Lubrizol.

Peter Ellman has been named to the board of directors of Stratagene. Ellman is founder of The Raisin Group, a management consulting firm, and previously served as CEO of Nextec Applications, where he still serves as a board member. Ellman replaces J. David Tholen, who is retiring from the board after two years of service.

Cynthia French has been chosen to head Affymetrix's new Clinical Laboratories division.

French joined Affy in January and previously served as vice president and chief scientific officer at Specialty Laboratories. Prior to joining Specialty Labs in 2003, she was a senior scientist at Quest Diagnostics. She has also led research & development programs at Bio-Rad, Diogenics, and Reprogen in the past.

French holds a PhD in molecular biology and biochemistry from the University of California, Irvine. She also holds an MBA from the University of California, Irvine, and has completed additional post-graduate work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.

Molecular Devices recently announced cash bonuses for executive officers, as well as annual salaries for 2005.

According to SEC filings last week:

  • CEO Joseph Keegan will receive $600,000 in bonuses and $445,000 in salary.
  • Steven Davenport, VP of European operations was awarded £62,000 ($108,000) in bonuses and £101,000 in salary.
  • Timothy Harkness, chief financial officer, was awarded $270,000 in bonuses and $334,000 in salary.
  • Jan Hughes, VP of marketing, will receive $138,000 in bonuses and $210,000 in salary.
  • Gillian Humphries, VP of strategic affairs, was awarded $30,000 in bonuses and $100,000 in salary.
  • Robert Murray, VP of operations, will receive $151,000 in bonuses and $227,000 in salary.'
  • Thomas O'Lenic, VP North America, will receive $157,000 in bonuses and $223,000 in salary.
  • Patricia Sharp, VP of human resources, was awarded $140,000 in bonuses and $225,000 in salary.
  • Richard Sportsman, VP R&D, will receive $102,000 in bonuses and $193,000 in salary.

George Grills has taken the position of director of advanced technology assessment and director of operations of life science core facilities at Cornell University Institute for Biotechnology and Life Science Technology.

Grills was formerly director of DNA sequencing at Harvard-Partners Genome Center.


BioCommerce Briefs

PerkinElmer Completes Sale of Semiconductor Business

PerkinElmer has completed the sale of its semiconductor business to Tara Capital, the company said this week.

The assets were sold for approximately $26.5 million in cash and assumed liabilities and an earn-out that could increase that amont to more than $30 million, PerkinElmer said in a statement.

The sale, which PerkinElmer originally expected to close by the end of last year, follows the December 2005 sale of PerkinElmer's aerospace division to Eaton and represents the last of the companies' divestitures of its fluid sciences units.

Bruker's Organic Q4 Revenue Dips; Loss Turns to Profit

Bruker BioSciences yesterday reported fourth-quarter 2005 revenues of $80.6 million, down from $85.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Revenues increased by 1 percent when adjusted for foreign currency effects, the company said.

Bruker reported net income of $1.9 million for the period ended Dec. 31, compared to a loss of $900,000 in the year-ago period.

R&D expenses dropped to $9.4 million in the current quarter, versus $12.1 million in the similar quarter last year.

The company had around $99.7 million in cash and short-term investments as of Dec. 31.

Qiagen to Bundle Reagents with ActiveSight's Crystallography Offering

Qiagen will bundle its sample preparation consumables with ActiveSight's CrystalScan protein-crystallization screening service, the companies said last week.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The pact expands upon Qiagen's nascent protein crystallization sample prep business, which was launched through the firm's July 2005 acquisition of Nextal Biotechnology for $9.7 million (see BioCommerce Week 7/7/2005).

Thermo to Buy Back $100 Million of Common Stock

Thermo Electron today said it plans to buy back $100 million of shares of its own common stock, both in the open market or in negotiated transactions.

According to the firm, it plans to complete the stock buyback by Feb. 28, 2007.

Company officials recently hinted that a stock buyback was a possible use of its $214.3 million in cash and cash equivalents as of the end of 2005.

Thermo spent about $1 billion on four acquisitions last year, and acquisitions remain the firm's first priority for use of cash, President and CEO Marijn Dekkers said, followed by paying down debt. But he said the firm may also use its cash to buy back shares (see BioCommerce Week 2/8/2006).

Serologicals' Q4 Revenues Rise 26 Percent, But Charges Lead to Loss

Serologicals last week said fourth-quarter revenues rose 26 percent to $87.1 million, compared to $69.2 million in the same period last year.

The company reported a net loss of $11.7 million, or $.34 per share, versus a net income of $3.5 million, or $.12 per share in the year-ago period.

Quarterly results included charges and exiting costs related to the decisions to close facilities in Toronto and not to open a facility in Kansas, as well as to the October 2004 acquisition of Upstate Group, said Serologicals in its filing.

The company said it expects to continue "the accelerated integration program" for Upstate and to transfer all Lake Placid, NY operations and research activities to Temecula, Calif., during the second quarter of 2006. The transfer is expected to result in annualized cost savings for the Research segment of approximately $5 million beginning in the second half of 2006.

Research and development costs in the fourth quarter were nearly flat at $4 million.

The company had around $38 million in cash and short-term investments as of Jan. 2.

Third Wave's Q4 Revenues Drop 28 Percent

Third Wave this week reported a 28-percent drop in fourth-quarter revenues as its quarterly net loss inched upward for the quarter.

Third Wave's revenues for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2005, fell to $5.8 million from $8.1 million in the fourth quarter last year.

While Third Wave did not provide a reason for the fourth-quarter revenue decline, the company experienced an approximately 50-percent drop in full-year revenues that it blamed on a previously announced and anticipated decline in non-recurring research revenue, which decreased by $23.7 million in 2005, and on $6.9 million in litigation expense incurred defending its core patents last year.

Third Wave spent $1.8 million on R&D in Q4 2005 as compared to $2.9 million in same quarter one year prior.

The company's quarterly net losses increased to $5 million from $4.7 million in the year-ago period, while the company's net loss for the full year grew to $22.3 million from $1.9 million in 2004.

In December, Third Wave paid off a $9.5-million bank note. As of Dec. 31, 2005, the company had cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments totaling $38.7 million.

The Scan

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

US Survey Data Suggests Ancestry Testing Leads Way in Awareness, Use of Genetic Testing Awareness

Although roughly three-quarters of surveyed individuals in a Genetics in Medicine study reported awareness of genetic testing, use of such tests was lower and varied with income, ancestry, and disease history.

Coral Genome Leads to Alternative Amino Acid Pathway Found in Other Non-Model Animals

An alternative cysteine biosynthesis pathway unearthed in the Acropora loripes genome subsequently turned up in sequences from non-mammalian, -nematode, or -arthropod animals, researchers report in Science Advances.

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.