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Thermo Fisher, Aspetrics, Sinopec, Epidauros, Luminex, Nanogen, Nanosphere, MDS, ABI, Agilent, Qiagen

Thermo Fisher Inks Mass Spec, LIMS Collaborations
Thermo Fisher Scientific this week announced two separate collaborations with Aspetrics and Sinopec.
Thermo said that Aspetrics is including Thermo’s GRAMS spectroscopy software in its new encoded photometric near infrared process analyzer. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Thermo also said that petrochemical firm Sinopec, China’s largest company, has signed a contract to standardize on Thermo’s laboratory information management systems, chromatography data systems, and desktop spectroscopy software. Terms of that pact also were not disclosed.

Epidauros Licenses Biomarker Patents to Luminex, Nanogen, and Nanosphere
Epidauros said this week that it has signed non-exclusive licensing agreements for its biomarker patents with Luminex Molecular Diagnostics, Nanogen, and Nanosphere.
The agreements will allow the companies to use Epidauros' CYP2D6 IP, which is involved in metabolism of roughly 25 percent of “the most commonly prescribed drugs,” as a predictive marker for responsiveness and adverse drug reactions, the company said.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

MDS Completes Acquisition of Molecular Devices
MDS said this week that it had completed the acquisition of Molecular Devices.
In January, the companies had agreed to a deal under which MDS would buy Molecular Devices for $615 million in cash, or $35.50 a share for all of Molecular Devices’ common stock (see BioCommerce Week 1/31/2007).
Molecular Devices and MDS’ Sciex unit have been combined into a business unit called MDS Analytical Technologies. The new unit is led by MDS Sciex President Andy Boorn.
According to MDS, Molecular Devices and MDS Sciex combined brought in 2006 revenue of $432 million.

ABI Declares Quarterly Dividend, Stock Upgraded
Applied Biosystems has declared a regular quarterly dividend of $.0425 per share.
The dividend will be payable on July 2, ABI parent Applera said this week.
Also this week, investment bank JP Morgan upgraded ABI’s stock to “neutral” from “underweight.”
ABI’s shares closed up 1.2 percent at $30.08 for the week ended Tuesday.

Agilent to Accelerate Share-Repurchase Program
Agilent Technologies said last week that its board of directors had authorized an acceleration in the firm’s existing $2 billion share-repurchase program.
Thus far, Agilent has repurchased roughly $500 million of the shares. Agilent expects to complete the $2 billion program by the end of this fiscal year, which ends Oct. 31.
Agilent said that once this program has been completed it will have repurchased $6.4 billion worth of its stock since 2005.

Qiagen Shares Upgraded
Investment bank Deutsche Securities last week raised its rating on Qiagen’s stock to “buy” from “hold.”
Shares in Qiagen closed up 3.6 percent at $16.98 for the week ended Tuesday.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.