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GE Healthcare, Biacore, CombiMatrix, Eppendorf, Ingenuity, Reaction Biology, NCI, Accelr8


GE Healthcare to Acquire Biacore for $390M

GE Healthcare, through its wholly owned subsidiary GE Medical Holding AB, this week announced its intention to acquire Biacore International for approximately SEK2.9 billion ($390 million) in order to expand its worldwide protein research footprint.

GE Healthcare will initiate a tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Biacore for SEK330 per share, and the offer is expected to commence by July 10 and end on August 10. Biacore's board of directors has unanimously recommended accepting the offer, the companies said.

Upon completion of the acquisition, GE Healthcare will be able to compete in the protein array market. Biacore currently sells a number of different array-based platforms for proteomic work including its Flexchip system for protein analysis, which the company has been aggressively marketing this year (see BAN 5/9/2006).

GE currently has a stake in the microarray market through its CodeLink bioarray business unit, which it gained through its acquisition of Amersham Biosciences in April 2004 (see BAN 4/14/2004).

Biacore employs approximately 300 people worldwide, and operates R&D and manufacturing facilities in Uppsala, Sweden, where GE Healthcare's Life Sciences business is also headquartered. Upon completion of the tender offer, GE Healthcare intends to combine Biacore with GE Healthcare Life Sciences to create a center of excellence in protein science in Uppsala, the companies said.

CombiMatrix to Raise as Much as $50M in Equity Distribution Agreement

CombiMatrix will sell registered shares of its common stock to Cornell Capital Partners at a 2.5-percent discount as part of a standby equity distribution agreement worth up to $50 million, the company said last week.

"This funding structure provides us the flexibility to access additional capital at our discretion," Amit Kumar, CombiMatrix president and CEO, said in a statement. "This commitment will enable us to finance the company for the next two years, during which time we hope to become the leading company in molecular diagnostics."

Eppendorf Affiliate Licenses Ingenuity's Pathway Analysis Software

Eppendorf Array Technologies, an Eppendorf affiliate, has licensed Ingenuity's Pathways Analysis Software, Ingenuity said last week.

Eppendorf will use the software for internal development and special projects for "key accounts and service providers."

Jose Remacle, general manager of Eppendorf Array Technologies, said that the company's objective is to "provide [its] internal teams with the very best products available so they can develop microarrays with excellent content."

Eppendorf did not return an e-mail seeking comment by press time.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Reaction Biology Receives $940,000 SBIR Grant from NCI

Reaction Biology has received a $940,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Cancer Institute to create a new kinase profiling and high-throughput screening method using radioisotopes and microarrays, the company announced this week.

Reaction Biology said it will use the funding to move current well-plate radioisotope methods onto its DiscoveryDot nanoliter screening platform.

The nanoliter platform uses much less radioisotope compared to well-plate methods, which "should lead to far fewer disposal and handling problems, and reduced cost overall," Reaction Biology's chief technology officer, Haiching Ma, said in a statement.

In March, the company was awarded a $1.8 million grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute to develop the DiscoveryDot platform under the Molecular Libraries and Imaging Initiative of the NIH Roadmap (see BAN 3/14/2006).

Accelr8 Posts Sharp Decline in Fiscal Q3 Revenue

Accelr8 Technology last week reported an 84-percent decline in fiscal third-quarter revenues and a 40-percent rise in net losses, and said it may not launch its BACcelr8r product before the end of July as it had originally promised.

Total receipts for the three months ended April 30 declined to $19,800 from $120,104 year over year.

Net losses for the period jumped to $788,865, or $.08 per share, from $562,838, or $.06 per share.

The company did not disclose its R&D spending in the quarter or break out its balance sheet.

In October 2004 Accelr8 said it would begin selling its BACcelr8r product in fiscal 2006, which ends July 31. In an interview with BioArray News' sister publication GenomeWeb News, Accelr8 President David Howson said the company would "probably not" stick to that timeline.

"We're not sure that the research market is a good place for us to go" with the BACcelr8r, Howson said. He said the company is "currently re-evaluating" the markets in which the product can be sold.

The BACcelr8r is designed to provide bacterial identification and antibiotic resistance analysis in "far less time than required by current lab culturing methods," Accelr8 said in a statement.

The Scan

Single-Cell Sequencing Points to Embryo Mosaicism

Mosaicism may affect preimplantation genetic tests for aneuploidy, a single-cell sequencing-based analysis of almost three dozen embryos in PLOS Genetics finds.

Rett Syndrome Mouse Model Study Points to RNA Editing Possibilities

Investigators targeted MECP2 in mutant mouse models of Rett syndrome, showing in PNAS that they could restore its expression and dial down symptoms.

Investigators Find Shared, Distinct Genetic Contributors to Childhood Hodgkin Lymphoma

An association study in JAMA Network Open uncovers risk variants within and beyond the human leukocyte antigen locus.

Transcriptomic, Epigenetic Study Appears to Explain Anti-Viral Effects of TB Vaccine

Researchers report in Science Advances on an interferon signature and long-term shifts in monocyte cell DNA methylation in Bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated infant samples.