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Nanogen, Epoch, CombiMatrix, Biacore, Geneservice, VWR International

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Nanogen's Q4 Revenues Triple as Net Loss Balloons Due to Epoch Charge

Nanogen last week reported that its 2005 fourth-quarter revenues more than tripled to $3.1 million from $1.0 million in the year-ago quarter.

Product sales grew to $1.2 million in the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2005, from $410,000 in the prior-year period, while license fees and royalty income grew to $1.5 million from $276,000 in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Nanogen's net loss for the quarter widened drastically, however, to $69.7 million, or $1.27 per share, from $11.2 million, or $0.31 per share during the same period in 2004.

The net loss for the current quarter included a previously disclosed goodwill impairment charge of $59 million attributable to Nanogen's 2004 purchase of Epoch Biosciences.

The impairment is a non-cash charge "related to the original value assigned to goodwill recorded on our balance sheet at the time of the Epoch acquisition," said Robert Saltmarsh, Nanogen's chief financial officer, in a statement. He added that the charge "does not reflect the performance of Epoch," but rather "reflects an adjustment to the estimated fair value of this goodwill asset based on current valuation methodologies."

Nanogen's R&D spending rose to $6.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2005 from $5.2 million in the year-ago period.

Nanogen had $32.4 million in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments as of Dec. 31, 2005.


CombiMatrix Inks New Air Force Deal for Biomarkers

CombiMatrix and the US Air Force have agreed to co-develop a "personal health monitoring system," CombiMatrix said last week.

Under the agreement, the applied biotechnology branch of the US Air Force research laboratory's human effectiveness directorate, biosciences and protection division, will use CombiMatrix's CustomArray technology to develop a biomonitor device capable of analyzing multiple DNA or protein biomarkers to "aid the US Department of Defense in its mission to effectively monitor the health status of military service personnel before, during and after deployment, where untoward exposures may impact on their performance or health," according to a statement.

The program is in addition to a previous agreement with the Air Force to develop pathogen-detecting microarrays and is the product of a "presidential directive," said CombiMatrix.

Financial details were not provided.


Biacore's Q4 Revenue Rose 23 Percent on US Sales Recovery

Biacore last week said that sales for the fourth quarter rose 23 percent to 193.7 million Swedish kronor ($24.6 million) from 157.1 million Swedish kronor a year ago.

Sales in the US rose 48 percent and European sales were up 45 percent, but receipts in Asia-Pacific declined by 20 percent.

Biacore posted fourth-quarter net income of 49.4 million Swedish kronor, or 5.06 Swedish kronor per share, versus 24.4 million Swedish kronor, or 2.51 Swedish kronor per share, during the same period last year.

R&D spending rose to 27.0 million Swedish kronor from 23.2 million Swedish kronor in the fourth quarter of 2004.

The company said it expects 2006 sales to increase "at approximately the same rate as in 2005 with modest growth in the first quarter."

As of Dec. 31, the company had 157.9 million Swedish kronor in cash and cash equivalents.


Geneservice Forms Sales Alliance with VWR International

Geneservice said this week that it has formed a five-year strategic sales alliance with VWR International Europe.

Under the deal, Geneservice customers in Europe, the US, and the UK will be able to access the company's contract research genotyping, gene-expression, and DNA-handling services via a local VWR service representative.

Tom Weaver, the CEO of the Cambridge, UK-based service provider, said that the partnership was "strategically important" for the company.

Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.

The Scan

Comfort of Home

The Guardian reports that AstraZeneca is to run more clinical trials from people's homes with the aim of increasing participant diversity.

Keep Under Control

Genetic technologies are among the tools suggested to manage invasive species and feral animals in Australia, Newsweek says.

Just Make It

The New York Times writes that there is increased interest in applying gene synthesis to even more applications.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on OncoDB, mBodyMap, Genomicus

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: database to analyze large cancer datasets, human body microbe database, and more.