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Marligen Biosciences, Invitrogen, US Genomics, Paradigm Genetics, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Cepheid, Bio-Rad, Caliper, Ciphergen


Marligen Biosciences Collects $2.3M in Funding, and Grants

Ijamsville, Md.-based Marligen Biosciences announced this week a $2.3 million Series A round of funding led by Emerging Technology Partners of Rockville, Md., and ASM Resources, as well as a series of grants from government and non-profit agencies, the company said.

The company manufactures and distributes products for nucleic acid purification, gene expression, and genetic fingerprinting.

Marligen said it had received a Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development Challenge grant, a MdBio Technology Accelerator Award, and a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant.

The funds will be used to expand marketing and sales for new multiplex protein analysis products and expand its portfolio of technologies for gene expression analysis and signal transduction.

Invitrogen Opens Gateway for NHGRI and NCI

Invitrogen last week announced an agreement with the National Human Genome Research Institute and the National Cancer Institute to institute open access to the company’s Gateway and SuperScript technologies for use with the Mammalian Gene Collection program.

Gateway is a method for cloning DNA sequences for functional study. Additionally, some Gateway vectors allow for the synthesis of protein products. Under Invitrogen’s licensing policies, academic and government researchers can create and distribute Gateway clones and expression clones to any entity without royalties or licensing fees.

The Mammalian Gene Collection program is an NIH-funded effort to generate sequenced cDNAs.

US Genomics Wins $7.5M US Contract for Pathogen Sensor

US Genomics has received a $7.5 million phase I contract from the US Department of Homeland Security Advanced Research Project Agency to develop a biological sensor, the company said this week.

Under the 18-month contract, the company plans to develop a sensor for detecting and identifying airborne pathogens, based on its DNA mapping technology. This technology requires no amplification or use of pathogen-specific reagents, according to the Woburn, Mass.-based company.

NIEHS Expands Paradigm Tox Contract To Include RNAi; TGen Builds siRNA Library

Paradigm Genetics will perform additional toxicogenomics research for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences that will involve RNAi technology, the Research Triangle, NC-based company said last week.

Under the agreement, an expansion of Paradigm’s five-year, $23.8 million contract with NIEHS that started in 2002, Paradigm will subcontract with the Translational Genomics Research Institute to build an siRNA library, which will help in studying how humans respond to environmental toxins.

Financials Roundup

  • Cepheid: Despite the temporary halt of additional deployments of its Biohazard Detection System for the US Postal Service, Cepheid last week reported almost a doubling of total revenues for its first quarter ending March 31. The company had receipts of $7.3 million for the period, compared to $3.8 million for the year-ago quarter, with product sales of $6.6 million for the quarter, compared to $3.1 million for the year-ago period. The company noted “significant sales” of its GeneXpert modules and anthrax test cartridges for the BDS system, which is being placed at multiple USPS sites. Last month the company said that additional deployment of the instruments was on hold pending an investigation of an anomaly in the data observed. Some of the tests returned non-determinate answers — that is, they failed to provide an answer. The company said that it is confident that the modules and test cartridges are functioning as expected.

    The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company recorded a net loss of $4.2 million for the quarter, compared to a loss of $4.6 million for the same quarter last year. Research and development expenses were $3.5 million for the quarter, compared to $3.6 million for the year-ago period.

    As of March 31, the company had $73 million in cash and cash equivalents on hand.

  • Bio-Rad: Bio-Rad last week reported increased revenues but a drop in income for the first quarter of 2004.

    Bio-Rad’s revenues increased 8.4 percent year-over-year to $266.6 million in the quarter, from $246 million in the comparable quarter of 2003. Net income for the quarter decreased to $22 million, or $.86 per share, from $26.4 million, or $1.04 per share in the year-ago period. R&D expenses rose to $25.2 million, from $21.4 million a year ago. As of March 31, 2004, Bio-Rad had $141.5 million in cash and cash equivalents.

  • Caliper: Caliper Life Sciences reported increased revenues for the first quarter last week, while its losses remained stable. Revenues were $16.9 million, up from $5.6 million during the same period last year. This increase was mainly due to revenues from Zymark, which Caliper acquired last July. Research and development costs decreased to $6.5 million, from $9.4 million during the same quarter in 2003.

    Caliper’s net loss for the quarter was $10 million, compared to $10 million during the year-ago period. At the end of March, Caliper had $5.6 million in cash and cash equivalents, and $50.3 million in marketable securities.

  • Ciphergen: Ciphergen Biosystems last week reported increased revenues and narrowed losses for the first quarter of the year. The company’s revenues totaled $15.5 million, up from $12.8 million in the first quarter of 2003. R&D costs remained flat, at $6.2 million, compared to $6.4 million during the same quarter last year. Ciphergen’s net loss amounted to $7.5 million, down from $9.2 million for the year-ago period. As of March 31, Ciphergen had $39.6 million in cash, cash equivalents, and investments in marketable securities.
The Scan

Harvard Team Report One-Time Base Editing Treatment for Motor Neuron Disease in Mice

A base-editing approach restored SMN levels and improved motor function in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy, a new Science paper reports.

International Team Examines History of North American Horses

Genetic and other analyses presented in Science find that horses spread to the northern Rockies and Great Plains by the first half of the 17th century.

New Study Examines Genetic Dominance Within UK Biobank

Researchers analyze instances of genetic dominance within UK Biobank data, as they report in Science.

Cell Signaling Pathway Identified as Metastasis Suppressor

A new study in Nature homes in on the STING pathway as a suppressor of metastasis in a mouse model of lung cancer.