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With Strong Q1 Behind It, Biacore Sends Newly Integrated Flexchip System on US Roadshow

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Swedish tool vendor Biacore has sent its Flexchip protein-analysis system on a roadshow across the US this month, signaling that the technology, which it acquired from HTS Biosystems last year, has now been fully integrated into the company's portfolio, according to a Biacore spokesperson (see BAN 3/16/2005).

"The system has now been fully incorporated into our product portfolio and thereby becomes part of our normal processes, applied to all our systems, for assessing the need for improvements after initial launch," the spokesperson, Sue Cresswell, told BioArray News this week.

According to Biacore's website, the company already held a demo for the Flexchip system on May 4 in San Francisco, and will hold a demo May 9 in Boston and another on May 11 in San Francisco. Cresswell said that the roadshows were a regular part of Biacore's marketing strategy and that similar shows are being planned for other regional markets.

Cresswell added that the company is targeting "customers working with large numbers of samples in basic research or in the early stages of drug discovery." The array-based system monitors protein-peptide, protein-protein or protein-nucleic acid interactions, according to the firm's website.

CEO Erik Walldén told BioArray News in January that the company plans to invest 30 percent of its 2006 revenues, or approximately $20 million, in sales and marketing during the year, with a focus on the US market (see BAN 1/17/2006).

That investment appears to be paying off as the company last week reported that revenues for the quarter ended March 31 increased 19 percent to SEK 137.9 million ($18.8 million) from SEK 116 million in the comparable period of 2005.

In a statement, the company attributed the revenue growth to "very strong performance in Europe and the Americas," where sales increased by 53 percent and 41 percent, respectively, offsetting a 61-percent decline in the Asia-Pacific market.

Biacore's net income for the quarter surged 58 percent to SEK 18.9 million from SEK 12 million in the year-ago period, while the company's R&D spending increased to SEK 25.1 million from SEK 18.6 million in the first quarter of 2005.

In the company's 2005 annual report, released last month, Walldén stated that Biacore expects the Flexchip to "generate higher revenues for the company in 2006."

He added that the "United States is [Biacore's] single biggest market globally, and we have seen a good recovery in that market during 2005 after a couple of weak years."

"The actions we have taken to strengthen our sales capabilities and create a more commercially focused organization, makes me confident that we will see continued good growth in this market," Walldén stated.

— Justin Petrone ([email protected])

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