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NimbleGen, Agilent, Silicon Genetics, Zyomyx, GE Healthcare, Glaxosmithkline, Invitrogen, Beckman, PerkinElmer


NimbleGen raises $12.75 Million in VC Funding

NimbleGen Systems has raised $12.75 million in a series F round of venture capital financing, the company said this week.

Current investors Baird Venture Partners and Venture Investors led the round. New investors included Cargill Ventures and Topspin Partners, as well as all of the company’s other existing venture capital and institutional investors.

The new round brings to $41 million the total amount of private-equity financing NimbleGen has raised since its founding in 2000.

“This financing is reflective of the great strides that have been made by NimbleGen Systems,” said Paul Carbone of Baird Venture Partners in a statement issued by NimbleGen. “Within the past 12-18 months alone, the company was the first to release the entire human genome on a single chip; has won several grants associated with the ENCODE project; is the only commercial entity to provide chromatin immunoprecipitation chip assays along with other applications; and negotiated a partnership with Affymetrix to manufacture, or OEM, custom chips called NimbleExpress within the GeneChip format.”

Agilent Completes Purchase of Silicon Genetics

Agilent has completed its acquisition of bioinformatics firm Silicon Genetics, the Redwood City, Calif.-based maker of the GeneSpring gene expression data analysis and management software.

The acquisition, which was initially announced at the end of August, enables Agilent to add another crucial piece to its life sciences business and significantly bolster its systems biology offerings.

Fran DiNuzzo, vice president and general manager of the Integrated Biology Solutions unit, told BioArray News at the time of the announcement, “The fit is very simple. They have an informatics package that’s really critical and necessary for people trying to do desktop work relative to understanding and translating expressed array data into useful informatics.” (see BAN 9/1/2004)

Financial details of the deal remain undisclosed.

Zyomyx Auctioning Off Equipment; Only Six Employees Remain

Protein chip firm Zyomyx is auctioning off $50 million worth of original acquisition equipment and has scaled down its staff to six employees, according to the firm conducting the auction.

Don Cowan, president of technology auction firm Cowan Alexander, told BioArray News’ sister publication GenomeWeb News last week that the auction “encompasses biotechnology equipment, semiconductor equipment, optics and laser equipment, IT equipment and PCs — everything you’d find in a facility — there’s a machine shop, there’s office furniture, there’s facility equipment. There’s everything from lab supplies and glassware right up to half a million dollars worth of NMRs and HPLCs from Agilent … [and] bioreactors.”

The auction takes place Nov. 9-11 at 10:00 a.m. at the firm’s facilities in Hayward, Calif., and will be webcast so attendees can bid for equipment via the Internet. More information about the items on the block is available at

Asked if Zyomyx had gone out of business, Cowan said, “No. What they’ve done is scaled way back. If they don’t absolutely, positively need it for any kind of ongoing operation, they’re selling it. They’ve gone from five buildings filled with scientists and support staff down to like six people.”

Cowan said the auction house is hoping to bring in $3 million to $4 million from the auction.

Calls to Zyomyx were not returned.

Privately held Zyomyx has raised $102 million through six rounds of financing since 1998.

GE to Launch New CodeLink Assays; Inks Deal with glaxosmithkline

GE Healthcare will launch its overdue 16-chamber rat ADME assay for the CodeLink platform by the middle of November, Lisa D’Anzi, marketing director for the platform, said last week at the American Society of Human Genetics 54th annual meeting in Toronto.

“The assay will launch toward the end of next week or the beginning of the following,” pending the completion of last-minute data, said D’Anzi. She made the remarks following a GE Healthcare-sponsored CodeLink workshop that occurred during the ASHG meeting.

The firm said in early June that intended to introduce the ADME-Rat 16 assay within 60 to 90 days — that is, before September. (see BAN 6/2/2004)

In a separate announcement this week, GE Healthcare said it would help GlaxoSmithKline develop an informatics system to integrate data from internal and external drug-discovery R&D sources.

Under the deal, GlaxoSmithKline will be able to use GeneticXchange’s DiscoveryHub data- and information-integration software — which GE markets — in its genetics, discovery, and pre-clinical-development R&D groups. Additionally, the deal calls for GE Healthcare and GlaxoSmithKline to design, develop, and support next-generation DiscoveryHub technology.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Invitrogen Posts 30 percent Revenue Growth; Buys DNA Research Innovations

Invitrogen today reported that strong sales in its BioDiscovery business unit helped propel a 30 percent spike in third-quarter revenue.

Total receipts for the three months ended Sept. 30 increased to 256.3 million from $197 million one year ago. Invitrogen said BioDiscovery grew 17 percent year over year, while BioProduction surged 53 percent.

R&D spending also increased in the third quarter, to $19.2 million from $15.4 million year over year. The firm’s net income jumped to $28.7 million, or $.54 per basic share, from $13.7 million, or $.27 per basic share, one year ago.

Invitrogen said it had around $939.8 million in cash and investments as of Sept. 30. The company reiterated its 2004 revenue forecast of around $1 billion.

Invitrogen also said it had acquired DNA Research Innovations of Kent, UK, for $30 million in cash and $30 million in milestone payments. Privately held DNA Research Innovation develops and sells ChargeSwitch technology, a DNA/RNA purification technology.

The acquisition follows Invitrogen’s purchases of Protometrix in April, Xeotron in May, and Molecular Probes in August.

Beckman Revenues Up In Third Quarter

Beckman today reported sales of $581 million for the third quarter, up over $535 million one year ago.

The company’s Biomedical Research Division’s sales increased 5 percent year over year, while Clinical Diagnostics’ sales were up 10 percent.

R&D spending for the period increased to $51.5 million from $46.5 million. Net earnings for the quarter jumped to $57 million, or $.93 per basic earnings per share, from $40 million, or $.65 per basic earnings per share, for the same quarter in 2003.

The company reported cash and cash equivalents of $31 million as of Sept. 30.

PerkinElmer Revenues Rise In Q3

PerkinElmer said that increasing revenues in its Life and Analytical Sciences division offset lower biopharma receipts and helped the company post a 10 percent jump in third-quarter revenue.

Total receipts for the period ended Sept. 30 increased to $403 million from $366 million one year ago. Revenue from the company’s Life and Analytical Sciences division, which offers products for genetic screening, service, and environment, grew 4 percent, to $243.7 million from $235.1 million.

PerkinElmer’s life and analytical sciences business reported revenues of $244 million for the period, up from $235 million for the third quarter in 2003.

Research and development expenses were $21 million for the period, up from $20 million for the same quarter in 2003. The firm’s net income during the quarter surged to $24 million, or $.19 per share, from $14 million, or $.11 per share, in the year-ago quarter.

The company reported cash and cash equivalents of $220 million on hand at the end of the quarter.

The Scan

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.

Study Reveals Potential Sex-Specific Role for Noncoding RNA in Depression

A long, noncoding RNA called FEDORA appears to be a sex-specific regulator of major depressive disorder, affecting more women, researchers report in Science Advances.

New mRNA Vaccines Offer Hope for Fighting Malaria

A George Washington University-led team has developed mRNA vaccines for malaria that appear to provide protection in mice, as they report in NPJ Vaccines.

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.