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Qiagen, Bio-Rad, Millipore, Luminex, Sequenom, Applied Microarrays, GE Healthcare, NorDiag, Cepheid, Sigma-Aldrich

Qiagen Posts 18 Percent Q1 Revenue Growth
 
Qiagen this week said first-quarter revenue rose 18 percent as R&D spending increased 13 percent and net income was up 13 percent.
 
Total revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2007, rose to $127.9 million from $108.7 million year over year.
 
Qiagen said that the strong sales were fuelled in part by an 11 percent increase in organic growth and a 2 percent contribution from acquisitions.
 
Sales of consumables made up 89 percent of the company's revenue for the quarter and added 15 percent of the growth. Instruments sales contributed 10 percent of total revenue, and “other” revenue accounted for 1 percent.
 
The company saw a 48 percent increase in quarterly net sales to Asia, driven largely by demand in China, and by the company's expansion into Singapore and Korea.
 
North American sales were up 5 percent, Qiagen CEO Peer Schatz said during the firm’s first-quarter conference call. The relatively weak sales in the region were due to “timing of certain large pharmaceutical orders, but also due to a continued soft academic market, which we also had planned for the year 2007.”
 
He said that molecular diagnostics is now the firm’s largest customer group by sales.
 
Schatz noted the company introduced 13 new sample and assay products in the first quarter.
 
The company said its profit increased to $19.9 million, or $.13 per share, from $17.6 million, or $.12 per share, in the year-ago period.
 
Qiagen’s R&D spending increased to $11.5 million from $10.2 million year over year.
 
Qiagen said it had around $386.1 million in cash and cash equivalents as of March 31.
 

 
Bio-Rad’s Revenues Rise 5 Percent in Q1, Profits Decline
 
Bio-Rad Laboratories last week said first-quarter revenues increased 5 percent as R&D spending rose 17 percent and profit fell 13 percent.
 
Total revenue for the three months ended March 31 increased to $322.5 million from $308.3 million year over year.
 
Revenue from the company’s Clinical Diagnostics segment increased nearly 10.8 percent to $177.6 million, while receipts from the Life Science division slipped 2.2 percent to $141.6 million.
 
According to Bio-Rad, increased Clinical Diagnostics sales came “across all product lines,” with notable growth coming from its blood virus and quality-control products.
 
Meantime, Life Sciences revenue was hurt by decreased testing revenues from bovine spongiform encephalopathy and reduced government-sponsored research.
 
Bio-Rad’s R&D spending rose to $32.8 million from $28.1 million year over year.
 
The company said first-quarter profit fell to $27 million, or $.99 per share, from $31.2 million, or $1.16 per share, in the year-ago period.
 
Bio-Rad said it had around $230.3 million in cash, cash equivalents, and $241.4 million in short-term investments as of March 31.
 

 
Millipore Q1 Revenues up 39 Percent, Profit Falls on SG&A Costs
 
Millipore last week said its first-quarter revenues increased 39 percent as R&D spending rose 50 percent and profit slid 23 percent.
 
Total revenue for the three months ended March 31 increased to $372 million from $268.4 million year over year.
 
Sales in the company’s Bioprocess segment rose 31 percent to $214.3 million, while Bioscience revenue swelled 51 percent to $157.7 million.
 
In a statement, CEO Martin Madaus said demand was strong for its drug-related and vaccine-related consumables in the Bioprocess division, and the Bioscience division is focused on integrating Serologicals, which the company acquired for $1.4 billion last year (see BioCommerce Week 4/26/2006).
 
Millipore’s net income fell to $26.7 million, or $.49 per share, from $34.5 million, or $.64 per share, in the year-ago period.
 
The firm’s R&D spending increased to $27.5 million from $18.4 million year over year, while its selling, general, and administrative costs shot up to $122.8 million from $82.3 million.
 
Millipore said it had around $56.6 million in cash and cash equivalents as of March 31.
 
In a separate announcement this week, Millipore said it will distribute one of Gen-Probe’s assays under an expansion of an ongoing development and distribution collaboration.
 
Millipore will market and sell the Gen-Probe Mycoplasma Tissue Culture Non-Isotopic test to biopharmaceutical customers. The assay is a DNA probe-based system that works with Millipore's sample-preparation products to detect mycoplasma.
 
Gen-Probe and Millipore are currently developing new assays designed to detect micro-organisms in biopharmaceutical production.
 
The companies said the first novel assay from the ongoing collaboration, which began in 2005, should launch sometime this year.
 

 
Luminex’s Profits Dive 75 Percent as Revenues Increase 28 Percent
 
Luminex last week said first-quarter revenue increased 28 percent as R&D spending rose 23 percent and profit shrank by 75 percent.
 
Total revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2007, increased to $16.6 million from $13 million year over year. Results included one month of revenues from Tm Bioscience, which Luminex acquired on March 1 for $44 million and has renamed Luminex Molecular Diagnostics (see BioCommerce Week 12/20/2006).
 
Luminex said it is now reporting results for two business segments: the Technology Group, which includes system sales to partners, raw bead sales, royalties, and service and support of the core technology; and the Assay Group, which includes the Luminex Bioscience Group and Luminex Molecular Diagnostics.
 
First-quarter revenues for the Technology Group rose to $15.7 million from $13 million in the first quarter of 2006. The Assay Group posted revenues of $1.2 million in the current quarter, compared to zero revenues in the prior-year period.
 
Luminex CEO Patrick Balthrop said in a statement that the quarter was a “strong start” for the year, with record revenues and profit coming from the company's life sciences segment.
 
System revenue rose 43 percent to $5.7 million; consumables fell 13 percent to $4.8 million; royalties rose 41 percent to $2.5 million; reagent revenue was $1.1 million compared with no revenue in the previous year's first quarter; service revenue increased 24 percent to $1 million; and other revenue increased 53 percent to $1.4 million.
 
Luminex’s R&D spending increased to $2.7 million from $2.2 million year over year.
 
The company said its net income fell to $136,000, or $0.0 per share, from $526,000, or $.02 per share, in the year-ago period.
 
Luminex said it had around $16.2 million in cash and equivalents and $3.5 million in short-term investments as of March 31.
 

 
Sequenom Revenues Rise 43 Percent in Q1
 
Sequenom this week said that its first-quarter revenue surged 43 percent, while its net loss was flat with the comparable quarter a year ago.
 
Total revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2007, rose to $9.9 million from $6.9 million year over year.
 
The company said the jump in revenues was driven mainly by sales of MassArray instruments and related products, and by growth in its contract research services group.
 
Sequenom said sales of consumables rose 47 percent to $4.2 million from $2.9 million, and other product-related sales increased 33 percent, contributing $4.9 million to first-quarter revenue.
 
R&D spending increased to $2.9 million from $2.5 million year over year.
 
The company said its net loss was flat at $3.7 million, or $.11 per share, compared with last year’s Q1 net loss of $3.7 million, or $.28 per share.
 
Sequenom CEO Harry Stylii said the company plans to use nearly $18.4 million the company netted in a stock placement in April to introduce new products and product enhancements to the company's MassArray line, and to introduce a prenatal test for Rhesus D incompatibility in the second quarter.
 
Sequenom said it expects full-year 2007 revenues of $37 million to $39 million with a loss between $23 million and $25 million.
 
Sequenom said it had $21.8 million in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments as of March 31, 2007.
 

 
Applied Microarrays Buys GE Healthcare’s CodeLink Business
 
Applied Microarrays has purchased GE Healthcare’s CodeLink microarray business and has been selling the tools since May 1, BioCommerce Week sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News has learned.
 
Applied Microarrays was created last year by a former GE Healthcare employee who helped design the technology while at Motorola Life Sciences, 
 
According to the researcher, Alastair Malcolm, the CodeLink facilities will be based in a lab that Applied Microarrays leases from Arizona State University in Tempe. The company is not affiliated with ASU.
 
Malcolm, who came to GE Healthcare via Motorola and Amersham, and who left GE to found Applied Microarrays, said that when he heard GE was selling CodeLink, he began drawing up plans to reunite with the brand and some of his former colleagues.
 
“The facility is intact, the team is intact,” Malcolm said.
 
Malcolm told GenomeWeb Daily News that Applied Microarrays’ “strategic intent isn’t to focus on just current CodeLink products.” Rather, he said the company plans to use the platform and the technology available at the Tempe lab to develop “all kinds of arrays” and to partner with content providers to build custom arrays.
 
GE Healthcare told its customers last December that it would no longer sell the arrays. Applied Microarrays has been making and selling pre-arrayed CodeLink products, including human, mouse, and rat whole-genome arrays, since May 1.
 
GE Healthcare will continue to sell CodeLink’s non-arrayed activated slides and related reagents, GE said. Neither company would disclose the financial terms of the deal, which closed April 27.
 
GE Healthcare spokesperson Arvind Gopalratnam said that if Applied Microarrays had not purchased CodeLink, GE Healthcare would have shut down the array business and sold its assets.
 

 
GE Healthcare Licenses Biomagnetic Nucelic Acid Isolation IP to NorDiag
 
GE Healthcare has agreed to license certain of its patents for biomagnetic nucleic-acid isolation to screening and diagnostics company NorDiag, GE Healthcare said last week.
 
GE Healthcare said the IP differs from conventional nucleic acid-isolation techniques due to the fact that the increased yield of nucleic acids it can isolate from disease-causing pathogens allows diagnosis from smaller-volume patient samples.
 
NorDiag CEO Mårten Wigstøl said the license will enable the company to “widen [its] portfolio of products for clinical diagnostics,” and show shareholders that the company can “bring in technologies from large players such as GE Healthcare.”
 

 
Texas VA Hospital Buys Cepheid’s MRSA Test
 
A Veterans Affairs hospital in Houston has bought a Cepheid test that detects antibiotic-resistant staphylococcus bacteria, the company said last week.
 
Cepheid said the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center has bought its GeneXpert MRSA kit, which tests for methicillin-resistant staphylococcus, the most common cause of nosocomial infections.
 
The MRSA also is resistant to oxacillin, penicillin, and amoxicillin, and affects those with weakened immune systems.
 
The MRSA test runs on Cepheid’s GeneXpert System, and can produce results in “just over an hour,” the company said.
 
The US Food and Drug Administration cleared the Xpert MRSA test on April 18.
 

 
Sigma-Aldrich Acquires Biopharmaceutical Contract Manufacturer
 
Sigma-Aldrich has acquired the biopharmaceutical contract manufacturer Molecular Medicine BioServices for an undisclosed amount of cash, Sigma said this week.
 
Sigma said it bought the Carlsbad, Calif.-based MMB to expand its SAFC Pharma business segment.
 
Sigma said MMB’s $12 million in annualized revenues will help it reach its growth goals, but will have a neutral impact on earnings in 2007.
 
MMB develops and manufactures viral products and offers DNA, RNA, and active ingredients for the production of novel vaccines and gene therapies. The company has 60 employees, a 23,700-square-foot lab and headquarters, and a 21,400-square-foot manufacturing facility.
 
Sigma said it plans to retain all of MMB's existing management and employees.
 
Sigma’s SAFC segment focuses on high-purity inorganics, cell culture products, and other services.
 
SAFC president Frank Wicks said the addition of MMB gives the company "critical capability" to produce viruses, and will complement the company's transgenic extraction and purification facility in St. Louis and a bacterial fermentation lab it is building in Israel.

The Scan

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