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Fisher Scientific, Thermo Electron, Qatar Center, Illumina, Qiagen, Gentra Systems, NuGen, Protagen, Lumera

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Fisher Scientific, Thermo Electron to Merge in $10.6B Deal

Thermo Electron and Fisher Scientific said this week that they will merge in a stock-for-stock deal expected to result in a company with $9 billion in revenues and $1 billion in cash flow in 2007.

The deal was approved by the boards for both companies and is expected to close in the fourth quarter. The resultant company will be named Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Under the terms of the deal, Fisher shareholders will receive 2 shares of Thermo common stock for each share of Fisher held. Thermo's closing price was $39.45 per share on May 5 so the deal values Fisher's stock at $78.90.

Upon consummation of the deal, which is being structured as a reverse merger by Thermo, Thermo shareholders will own about 39 percent of the new company and Fisher shareholders will own the remaining 61 percent.

Of the two, Fisher has expressed the most interest in the microarray market recently. The company spent $15 million to buy a 9-percent stake in Nanogen in March, making Fisher one of Nanogen's lead investors (see BAN 3/21/2006).

Thermo has also explored the space, most notably by licensing the rights to Exigon's locked nucleic acid technology in April 2005, as well as by launching a biochip-based cystic fibrosis chip with Quest Diagnostics in April 2003 (see BAN 4/20/2005, BAN 4/25/2003).


Qatar Center to Use Illumina Genotyping Platform to Study Arabian Gulf Region Founder Populations

Illumina said this week that the genetic facility at the Shafallah Center for Children with Special Needs in Doha, Qatar, has installed an Illumina BeadLab genotyping platform.

The Shafallah Center will use the BeadLab as part of its research on rare autosomal recessive diseases as well as complex diseases such as diabetes, Illumina said.

All disease research at the facility will involve the collection and analysis of clinical, genetic, and family history data. The Shafallah Genetics Medical Center will have access to samples from founder populations indigenous to the Persian Gulf region, Illumina said.

Financial terms were not disclosed.


Qiagen Agrees to Pay $38M for Gentra Systems; Inks Deal with NuGen

Expanding its footprint in the sample preparation marketplace, Qiagen last week said it will acquire Minneapolis-based Gentra Systems in a $38 million transaction that the companies expect to close at the end of the second quarter.

Qiagen said it will purchase all outstanding shares of privately held Gentra, which produces nucleic acid purification products for large-scale blood samples, for approximately $38 million in cash, and it expects to incur one-time charges of about $0.02 in EPS at the close of the transaction.

Depending on the timing of the transaction, Qiagen said it estimates that Gentra's assets will contribute about $6 million to sales in the second half of 2006.

Qiagen said that Gentra's products will strengthen its position with customers involved in biobanking, molecular diagnostics, and translational medicine.

According to Peer Schatz, Qiagen's CEO, the biobanking and archiving market "is increasingly attractive due to current trends in molecular diagnostics, biomedical research and translational medicine."

"The Gentra products are very complementary to QIAGEN's product and technology portfolio providing additional solutions to enable large-scale research in biomedical, genomic and molecular diagnostic laboratories," he said in a statement.

Separately, the company last week announced a co-marketing alliance with NuGen to create a series of joint applications for RNA amplification and analysis.

The agreement is aimed at providing researchers with the means to isolate, amplify, fragment, and label RNA for research and molecular diagnostic ends, Qiagen said.

Further details of the deal with NuGen were not disclosed.


Protagen Closes $4.2M Financing Round

Protagen said this week that it has closed its second round of financing, raising 3.3 million ($4.2 million).

According to the protein biochip developer, the financing round included both new and existing investors. Proceeds of the financing will be used to expand the company's sales activities in Europe and the US, as well as to broaden its product pipeline.

Investors in the financing round included S-Venture Capital Dortmund and MIG AG Funds 1 and 3.


Lumera Q1 Sales More than Double, Losses Expand by 8 Percent

Lumera last week reported an upsurge in first-quarter sales, while posting an increase in net loss.

Revenues for the three months ended March 31 rose 110 percent to $503,000 from the $240,000 the company reported in the same period in 2005.

Net loss for the quarter rose to $3.1 million from $2.9 million in the prior-year quarter.

Research and development expenses fell 4 percent to $1.6 million from $1.65 million in the same period last year.

As of March 31, Lumera had $18 million in cash and investment securities.

The Scan

Two J&J Doses

Johnson & Johnson says two doses of its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine provides increased protection against symptomatic COVID-19, CNN reports.

Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Response in Kids

The Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in a lower-dose format appears to generate an immune response among children, according to the Washington Post.

Chicken Changes to Prevent Disease

The Guardian writes that researchers are looking at gene editing chickens to help prevent future pandemics.

PNAS Papers on Siberian Dog Ancestry, Insect Reproduction, Hippocampal Neurogenesis

In PNAS this week: ancestry and admixture among Siberian dogs, hormone role in fruit fly reproduction, and more.