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Affymetrix, Illumina, DeCode Genetics, Enzo Biochem, MDS Proteomics, Orchid BioSciences, Paradigm Genetics, PerkinElmer, Schleicher & Schuell BioScience

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Affymetrix Files Patent Suit Against Illumina

Affymetrix has filed suit against Illumina for alleged infringement of six patents held by Affymetrix. The patents were issued between 1996 and 2003 and cover various aspects of arrays, software and hardware.

The suit claims that Illumina’s BeadArray and Sentrix instruments incorporate inventions covered by Affymetrix’s patents.

Illumina said it has meritorious defenses and intends to vigorously defend itself against Affymetrix’s charges. Company officials declined to comment further on the case or any talks that have been held between the firms.

Affymetrix released a statement saying that it filed suit after “many good faith efforts to resolve” the dispute. It added that it had hoped that Illumina would take a license on fair terms.


DeCode Genetics Revenues Drop, Net Loss Rises

DeCode Genetics today reported a slight drop in revenues and increased net losses for the second quarter of 2004.

DeCode’s revenues fell to $9.6 million in Q2 2004 from $10.5 million for the same quarter last year. The company said that at the close of the second quarter, it had $16.1 million in deferred research revenue as compared to $12.7 million for Q2 2003, an increase it attributed to cash received under its recent alliance with Merck.

Net losses for the second quarter totaled $13.3 million, versus $10.2 million for the same period last year. Reykjavik-based DeCode cited slower revenues, higher interest expense related to convertible debt, and higher general and administrative expenses as reasons for the increased losses.

The company spent $15.7 million on R&D in Q2 2004, down from the $16.7 million it spent in the year ago period. At the close of the second quarter, DeCode had $226.3 million in cash and short-term investments.

Although the firm’s primary operations are now in drug discovery and development, it said that DNA-based diagnostics offers “a significant secondary avenue for the commercialization of DeCode’s gene discovery programs.” It is working on the development of a DNA-based cardiovascular disease risk panel to identify individuals at high-risk for heart attack, stroke, and PAOD. The firm also has an ongoing collaboration with Roche Diagnostics to develop a DNA-based predisposition test for osteoporosis, to be offered initially through reference laboratories.


Enzo Biochem To Appeal Court Decision

Enzo Biochem said that it would appeal a court decision that granted summary judgment in favor of Gen-Probe and Becton Dickinson in a patent infringement suit filed by Enzo against the firms.

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York granted the defendants’ summary judgment motion on invalidity of Enzo’s US Patent No. 4,900,659. The patent, filed in January 1986, covers the sequence composition and method for screening the sequence composition of the bacteria that causes gonorrhea.

The district court made its decision based on the “on-sale bar,” finding that a transaction between Enzo and Ortho Diagnostics Systems in December 1984 under a pact between them dating from 1982, and which was subsequently terminated, was an invalidating commercial sale made more than one year before the patent application’s filing date.

Enzo’s counsel said the decision by the court was made in error and it is confident the decision would be reversed on appeal.


MDS Changes Name to Protana

MDS Proteomics has changed its name to Protana, and completed a financial reorganization announced on June 1, the company said last week.

The new company will provide protein identifi-cation and analysis, lead optimization, and biomarker discovery services to outside parties. The name change “reflects the fact that the reorganized company will have a much broader focus than proteomics-based discovery research,” the company said. “Protana will be working in areas that encompass genomics, proteomics, clinical settings as well as lab services, and will span drug discovery to late stage work.”

The new company will provide protein identifi-cation and analysis, lead optimization, and biomarker discovery services to outside parties. The name change “reflects the fact that the reorganized company will have a much broader focus than proteomics-based discovery research,” the company said. “Protana will be working in areas that encompass genomics, proteomics, clinical settings as well as lab services, and will span drug discovery to late stage work.”


Orchid’s Q2 Revenues Rise

Orchid BioSciences today reported second quarter revenues of $15 million, a significant gain on its 2003 second quarter revenues of $12.4 million.

The Princeton, N.J.-based firm said that its service revenues climbed to $14.8 million from $12.2 million in the comparable quarter a year ago. The firm attributed the revenue growth to an increase in testing volume.

Orchid reported a net loss for the quarter of $1.8 million, or $.08 per share, compared to a net loss of $5.5 million, or $.55 per share, in the second quarter a year ago.

Orchid, which provides genetic testing services for the paternity, forensics, and food safety markets, finished the quarter with $31.1 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Paradigm Genetics Q2 Revenues Rise

Paradigm Genetics this week posted a second-quarter net loss essentially flat with the year-ago second quarter, despite a 12 percent rise in revenues during the period.

Paradigm’s revenues in the quarter were $6.3 million, up from $5.6 million in the second quarter of 2003.

Meanwhile, the company’s research and development spending climbed to $6.8 million in the quarter, compared to $6.5 million in the year-ago period, helping to drive overall expenses about $800,000 higher to $9.8 million.

Paradigm reported a second-quarter net loss of $3.6 million, or $.10 per share, compared to a net loss of $3.6 million, or $.11 per share, in the comparable period a year ago.

As of June 30, the company had cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments totaling about $10.7 million.

The firm said that it would unveil a new corporate entity later this month that will reflect its transformation from a functional genomics company to a “true systems biology” company.


PerkinElmer Posts Gains in Q2 Revenues, Income

PerkinElmer last week reported a second quarter rise in revenues and income, as sales for its life and analytical sciences business rose 5 percent year-over-year.

The company reported revenues for the second quarter of $412.6 million, compared to $376.3 million for the year-ago quarter. Revenues in the life and analytical sciences segment were $257.9 million, versus $246 million for the same period last year.

PerkinElmer’s net income for the quarter was $20.8 million, or $.16 per share, compared to $8.4 million, or $.07 per share, in the second quarter of 2003. The firm is forecasting third quarter income per share of between $.15 and $.18.

R&D expenses for the second quarter came to $22.3 million, up slightly from the $21.9 million reported in the same period last year.

As of June 27, the company had $196.7 million in cash and cash equivalents, compared to $165.5 million at the end of the first quarter of 2004.


Schleicher & Schuell, Kreatech to Combine Detection Technologies

Schleicher & Schuell BioScience has inked a supply and licensing deal with Dutch firm Kreatech Biotechnology to incorporate Kreatech’s Universal Linkage System into Schleicher & Schuell’s new Two Color Labeling and Fluorescent Detection Kit.

According to a joint statement from the firms, the Universal Linkage System minimizes background using indirect fluorescent detection, labels multiple amino acids, and is ready to use without the need to purchase additional materials.

The new S&S detection kit is intended for use with the Keene, N.H.-based firm’s recently launched S&S Serum Biomarker Chip. The chip contains 120 different antibodies spotted on S&S Fast Slides and is intended for rapid profiling of known serum biomarkers.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.