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Affymetrix, Illumina, Solexa, CombiMatrix, National Genome Research Network, Gene Logic, Lumera, University Medical Centre Utrecht

Affy's Sales Slide 7 Percent in Q1 as Charges Turn Profit to Loss
Affymetrix last week said first-quarter revenues dropped 7 percent as R&D spending fell 16 percent and a profit turned to a loss on restructuring charges.
Total receipts for the three months ended March 31 fell to $80.4 million from $86.4 million year over year. Product and product-related revenue decreased 10 percent to $71.3 million; royalties and other revenue increased 33 percent to $2.4 million; and receipts from Perlegen rose 26 percent to $6.7 million.
R&D spending decreased to $19.7 million from $23.5 million. The company said its net loss was $4 million, down from a profit of $1.8 million in the year-ago period. Affy said the disparity was the result of $5.4 million in restructuring charges.
Affy said it had around $96.3 million in cash and equivalents and $146.9 million in short-term investments as of March 31.

Illumina's Q1 Revenues Rise 148 Percent as R&D Nearly Doubles; Solexa Buy Widens Loss
Illumina this week said first-quarter revenues increased 148 percent as R&D spending nearly doubled and the company posted a $300 million net loss affected by acquisition-related charges.
Total receipts for the three months ended March 31 increased to $72.2 million from $29.1 million year over year. Product revenues nearly tripled, rising to $61.2 million from $21.3 million, while service and other revenue more than doubled to $10.8 million from $5.2 million year over year.
R&D spending almost doubled to $16 million from $8.2 million in the year-ago period. Illumina said its net loss swelled to $298 million from $104,000 in the year-ago period. The $600-million acquisition of Solexa in late January, which included a $303 million charge, had the greatest impact on the loss, Illumina said.
Illumina said it had around $326 million in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments as of March 31. The company said it expects 2007 revenue to be between $305 million and $315 million. Second-quarter revenues are expected to be between $74 million and $78 million.

CombiMatrix's Q1 Revenues Slide 9 Percent; Nasdaq Warns of Low Bid Price
CombiMatrix last week said that first-quarter revenue dropped 9 percent as R&D spending fell 22 percent and net losses shrank by 73 percent.
Total receipts for the three months ended March 31 decreased to $1.1 million from $1.2 million during the same period last year. Parent company Acacia separately said it has been notified by the Nasdaq Global Market that CombiMatrix’s stock is not in compliance with market rules because it has not maintained a minimum bid price $1 for 10 consecutive trading days.
Acacia has said it plans to “split off of CombiMatrix” through a common stock sale by Oct. 22. Acacia said it has applied for an initial listing of its common stock with the Nasdaq Capital Market, which has a minimum bid price of $4 per share. CombiMatrix’s stock yesterday closed at $.55 a share.
CombiMatrix said product revenue fell 50 percent to $440,000; services revenue rose 160 percent to $148,000; and revenue from government contracts increased 116 percent to $549,000. R&D spending decreased to $1.8 million from $2.4 million.
Net loss decreased to $2.1 million from $7.7 million year over year.
CombiMatrix CEO Amit Kumar attributed the decline in losses to “significant cost-cutting measures as well as certain non-cash items.” Kumar added that recent organizational changes in “fixed and variable costs” should help “improve our cash burn throughout 2007.”
CombiMatrix had around $10.5 million in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments as of March 31.

German Genomics Project Buys Genotyping Tools from Illumina and Affy
The National Genome Research Network of Germany has bought hardware from Illumina and Affymetrix for large-scale research projects that aim to genotype more than 20,000 patients in studies of major diseases, Illumina and Affymetrix said separately last week.
Affymetrix said the NGFN has purchased its Genome-Wide Human SNP Array 5.0 to genotype 17,000 individuals in a study of 25 diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, malaria, heart disease, and epilepsy.
Affy said it will supply the NGFN with its SNP Array 6.0 when it is available later in the year. Illumina said the NGFN purchased its Infinium HumanCNV370-Duo, HumanHap300-Duo, and HumanHap550 BeadChips.
The company said the NGFN will employ these tools in an 8,000-subject genotyping study investigating bipolar disease, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, alcoholism, inflammatory bowel disease, and psoriasis. The data from these studies will be compared against information from healthy subjects to identify genetic variations that may be linked to the disease.
The NGFN is a genomics research program commissioned in 2001 by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The program’s second phase runs between 2004 and 2007 and it is fuelled by €135 million ($184 million) in German government funds.
Financial terms of the agreements were not released.

Gene Logic's Revenues Tumble; Firm Continues to Ponder Future of Genomics Arm
Gene Logic said last week its first-quarter revenues fell 63 percent as R&D spending remained flat and net losses narrowed 17 percent.
Total receipts for the three months ended March 31 fell to $3.3 million from $8.7 million year over year. All of the company’s revenue came from its genomics services business. Gene Logic reiterated that it has hired outside advisors to “assist in considering strategic alternatives” for its genomics business.
R&D was flat for the first quarter at $2.4 million. The company said net losses decreased to $10.1 million from $11.8 million in the year-ago period.
As of March 31, Gene Logic had $27.4 million in combined cash and cash equivalents, and $15.7 million in marketable securities.

Lumera Extends Agreement with MUSC on Protein Array Development
Lumera this week said that it has extended its collaboration agreement with the Medical University of South Carolina. The two signed an initial agreement in 200X?? to develop an antibody array capable of measuring the levels and modifications of patient mitochondrial proteins. Under the earlier agreement, Lumera will retain rights to commercialize all jointly developed intellectual property.
MUSC has been using Lumera's ProteomicProcessor instrument system and its NanoCapture microarray slides to monitor changes in mitochondrial proteins that are known to be markers for certain pathologies and many adverse drug effects.
Timothy Londergan, director of Lumera's bioscience business unit, said in a statement that while MUSC's work is "academically interesting, this project has implications across pharma that are significant.”
The company said it hoped to target the market for biomarker discovery tools among pharma and biotech companies. Financial details of the deal were not discussed.

Dutch Medical Center Gets Go Ahead for Clinical Use of Array CGH
The Dutch Council for Accreditation has accredited the array facility of the Genome Diagnostic section of the University Medical Centre Utrecht in accordance to the protocol of the International Standards Organization, BlueGnome said this week. The medical center offers diagnostic tests based on BlueGnome's comparative genomic hybridization-based CytoChip tool.
According to BlueGnome, the system for genetic diagnostics at the University Medical Centre has been developed to meet NEN-EN-ISO 15189, the ISO standard for quality and competence in medical laboratories. The accreditation with the RvA describes the methods, equipment and reporting required for clinical arrayCGH.
In order to achieve the accreditation the BlueGnome CytoChip was selected to replace the academic microarray used to establish the service, the company added.

The Scan

mRNA-Based Vaccine on the Way in China

China may soon have its own mRNA-based vaccine, according to Nature News.

Arranged Killing, Fraud Alleged by Prosecutors

The Wall Street Journal reports that prosecutors allege that the co-founder of a biotech arranged to have a business associate who threatened to expose him as a fraud killed.

Whirlwind Decade of CRISPR

The New York Times looks back at the 10 years since the University of California, Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues published their CRISPR paper.

PNAS Papers on Blue Cone Monochromacy Structural Variants, HIV-1 Mutant, T-ALL

In PNAS this week: structural variants linked to blue cone monochromacy, HIV-1 variants affecting the matrix protein p17, and more.