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Agilent, Genome Express, CyBio, Axxam, Ipsogen, University of Buffalo, Harvard Med School, Beckman Coulter, Lumera


Agilent’s LSCA Unit Posts Double-Digit Growth in Orders, Revenues for Q1 2005

Agilent Technologies’ Life Science and Chemical Analysis business unit this week reported a 16-percent increase in orders for the quarter ended Jan. 31, 2005, accompanied by a 13-percent rise in revenues and a 9-percent increase in profits.

Agilent’s LSCA group, which houses the company’s genomics and proteomics product lines, reported orders of $356 million for the first quarter of its 2005 fiscal year, up sharply from $307 million in orders for the year-ago quarter.

Life Science orders increased 18 percent, while Chemical Analysis orders increased by 15 percent, the company said.

The LSCA unit posted first-quarter revenues of $354 million, compared to $313 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2004.

Segment profits rose to $51 million, from $47 million in the prior-year period.

The LSCA unit’s revenues made up 21 percent of Agilent’s $1.66 billion in total revenues for the quarter, which rose only 1 percent over last year’s first-quarter revenues.

Agilent spokeswoman Christina Maehr told BioArray News that while LSCA is only 20 percent of Agilent overall, it delivered 50 percent of the company’s total profits for the quarter and said that its growth was comparable to its competitors.

Total orders for the company — including LSCA, Test and Measurement, Automated Test, and Semiconductor Products — dropped 7 percent year-over-year to $1.61 billion.

First-quarter net earnings were $103 million, or $.21 per diluted share, compared to $71 million, or $.14 per share, in the first quarter of 2004.

Agilent spent a total of $232 million on R&D during the quarter, up slightly from $229 million last year.

The company had $2.5 billion in cash and cash equivalents on hand as of Jan. 31.

Genome Express Hired by French Government to Authenticate Food Content and Origin

Genome Express, a DNA analysis firm based in Grenoble, France, has signed a sales agreement with the French government to verify the content and origin of food products.

The agreement partners Genome Express with the Centre Technique de la Conservation des Produits Agricoles (CTCPA), which is overseen by the French ministries for Agriculture and Economy and Finance.

Genome Express will use its patented Gextrack DNA analysis services to authenticate products, and detect genetically modified organisms and allergenic ingredients for the CTCPA and its clients.

CyBio, Axxam to Share Technology for Drug Discovery

CyBio, a Jena, Germany-based life sciences firm, has entered into a collaborative agreement with Axxam to use its microarray technology and automated luminescence screening systems to develop and market new technologies for drug discovery, the companies announced this week.

Under the terms of the agreement, Axxam, a Milanese drug-discovery firm, will pair its Photina arrays with several CyBio technologies, including the CyBi Cellight System, an automated assay platform, and the Lumax flash HT Reader, which enables high data quality high-throughput screening, according to the firms.

CyBio said that it already had generated new technologies using Axxam´s assay technology. Axxam said it is using Photina, a calcium detecting photoprotein that can be used in high-throughput and ultra-high throughput screenings, to expand its capabilities as a provider in assays and services related to drug discovery.

Ipsogen Joins the ‘European LeukemiaNet’

Ipsogen, a French biotechnology company, has been added as a participant in the 2nd Symposium of “European LeukemiaNet,” an annual conference sponsored by the European Leukemia Network and partially funded by the European Union. ELN is focused on developing a network for leukemia-related research and health care.

Canary-on-a-Chip Method Developed at University of Buffalo

Scientists at the University of Buffalo claim they have developed a new chip-based technology that can detect cellular responses to stimuli from pathogens to toxins to antibiotics.

Calling it the “Canary on a Chip” sensor, they claim it can detect reactions from cells within minutes because it skips the need to culture bacteria to assess sensitivity to antibiotics.

Researchers say that the technique could be used to scan cancer cells from biopsies to evaluate chemotherapy or radiation therapy effectiveness and can be used in biodefense applications.

Harvard Med School Purchases Array Sample-Prep System from Beckman Coulter

The Harvard Medical School-Partners HealthCare Center for Genetics and Genomics has purchased an automated microarray sample-preparation system from Beckman Coulter as part of a collaborative development effort, Beckman announced last week.

Under terms of the agreement, the two organizations will work closely together to “evaluate and refine” application methods on an automated platform based on Beckman’s Biomek FX laboratory automation workstation, the company said.

The modified system will be used to prepare target RNA for genotyping on Affymetrix chips.

“The addition of this system will allow our expression profiling facility to accommodate larger scope microarray analysis projects for gene expression and mapping arrays,” said Vance Morgan, director of laboratory operations for HPCGG.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Lumera Signs Up ISB to Develop Label-Free Protein Array System

Lumera will collaborate with the Institute for Systems Biology to develop a label-free protein microarray platform, the Bothell, Wash.-based firm said this week.

The platform will include Lumera’s NanoCapture microarrays and its ProteomicProcessor reader, which does not require molecular labels. The system will enable researchers to perform real-time kinetic measurements of protein-protein, protein-drug, and protein-DNA interactions and will be available “as soon as possible.”

The Scan

Self-Reported Hearing Loss in Older Adults Begins Very Early in Life, Study Says

A JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery study says polygenic risk scores associated with hearing loss in older adults is also associated with hearing decline in younger groups.

Genome-Wide Analysis Sheds Light on Genetics of ADHD

A genome-wide association study meta-analysis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder appearing in Nature Genetics links 76 genes to risk of having the disorder.

MicroRNA Cotargeting Linked to Lupus

A mouse-based study appearing in BMC Biology implicates two microRNAs with overlapping target sites in lupus.

Enzyme Involved in Lipid Metabolism Linked to Mutational Signatures

In Nature Genetics, a Wellcome Sanger Institute-led team found that APOBEC1 may contribute to the development of the SBS2 and SBS13 mutational signatures in the small intestine.