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Beckman Coulter, Molecular Devices, Becton Dickinson, Pharmacopeia Drug Discovery, Microbix Biosystems and GE Healthcare, and Cambria Biosciences and Syngenta


Beckman Coulter Posts Rise in Q2 Sales

Beckman Coulter reported yesterday a roughly eight-percent rise in second-quarter sales, driven in part by growth in the company’s clinical diagnostics and biomedical research divisions.

Beckman Coulter’s sales for the period were $597.3 million, up from $551.8 million in the second quarter 2003. Sales in the company’s clinical diagnostics division climbed 10 percent, while sales in its biomedical division were up four percent. Specialty testing had the best performance in biomedical research, the company said, with revenues growing by eight percent, driven by continuing gains in cellular analysis.

Beckman Coulter posted net earnings of $58.3 million in the second quarter, an almost 12 percent increase over the $52.2 million recorded in same period last year.

Looking ahead, the company said that it expects sales in the third quarter to rise between eight and 11 percent, and total year sales to be up nine to 10 percent.

Molecular Devices Reports Increased Revenues, Earnings in Q2

Molecular Devices last week reported increased revenues and earnings for the second quarter.

Revenues totaled $32.2 million, up from $28.5 million during the same quarter last year. R&D expenses stayed flat at $4.7 million, compared to $4.8 million during the same period a year ago.

The company’s net income for the quarter was $2.5 million, or $.17 per share, up from $1.8 million, or $.12 per share, during the same period in 2003. As of June 30, the company had $54.2 million in cash and cash equivalents.

In an official statement, Joseph Keegan, Molecular Devices’ president and chief executive officer, said that “strong demand for FLIPR Tetra, Discovery-1, and IonWorks resulted in the best quarter in history for our drug discovery family of products. At the same time, our life sciences segment posted solid growth due to the continued success of our SpectraMax M2 bench-top reader and Meta series of cellular imaging products.”

The company also closed its acquisition of Axon Instruments at the beginning of the third quarter.

BD Reports Revenue Growth, Income Drop in Fiscal Q3

Becton Dickinson said last week that its quarterly revenues for the fiscal third quarter ended June 30 totaled roughly $1.3 billion, an eight percent increase from Q3 of last year. At constant foreign exchange rate, the company said, revenues increased five percent.

BD reported net income of $109 million for Q3 2004, as compared to $130 million for the same quarter in 2003. The company attributed the loss to a pre-tax charge of $100 million relating to an agreement with Retractable Technologies to settle its lawsuit against BD.

The company’s diagnostics segment reported worldwide revenues of $374 million, an 11-percent increase over the same period last year. BD’s biosciences segment reported worldwide revenues of $201 million, an increase of 12 percent over the same period last year. The company said that instrument revenue growth was driven by sales of the recently launched BD FACSCanto and BD FACSArray analyzers and continued performance of the BD FACSAria cell sorter.

On July 1, the first day of BD’s fiscal fourth quarter, the Biosciences division announced the purchase of cell-based assay company Atto Bioscience in a $25 million cash deal.

Pharmacopeia Drug Discovery Announces Date of Release of Q2 Financials

Pharmacopeia Drug Discovery said last week that it plans to release its financial results for the quarter and six months ended June 30 after the close of the Nasdaq market on Thursday, August 5.

Pharmacopeia will conduct a conference call and audio webcast at 5:00 p.m. EDT on the same day. The call will be hosted by chairman Joseph Mollica.

Interested parties may obtain more information about the conference call and webcast by accessing the company’s website,

Microbix to Develop Virus Vectors for GE Healthcare Cell Analysis Platforms

Microbix Biosystems will develop a portfolio of recombinant adenoviruses for use with GE Healthcare’s sub-cellular imaging instruments, the company said yesterday.

Under the terms of the agreement, Microbix will develop the vectors for the IN Cell Analyzer 3000 and 1000, which GE Healthcare added to its portfolio following its April acquisition of Amersham. According to an official statement, “a range of ready-to-use assays will be developed to enable researchers to study key cellular events in real time and in a cell line of choice.”

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Cambria and Syngenta to Collaborate on Drug Discovery

Cambria Biosciences of Woburn, Mass., last week announced a three-year drug-discovery collaboration with Syngenta.

Cambria will use its technology to elucidate the mechanism of action of small molecule compounds supplied by Syngenta to guide the discovery and development of new classes of safe and effective insecticides, Cambria said. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The agreement follows the successful conclusion of a similar project undertaken by Cambria in 2003, the company said.

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.