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Becton Dickinson and Clontech, Beckman Coulter, Addex Pharmaceuticals and Ortho-McNeil, Ambit Biosciences and Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, and Pfizer, and Albany Molecular Research and Alcon Research

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Becton Dickinson to Sell Clontech in Q2 or Q3, Official Says; Buyer Remains Undisclosed

Becton Dickinson expects to complete the sale of its Clontech division in the second or third quarter, the company said last week.

“The process is moving ahead according to schedule,” Vince Forlenza, president of BD Biosciences, said at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference, held here this week.

BD said in October (see Inside Bioassays, 10/12/2004) that it plans to sell the Clontech business because it wants to “focus its strategy on cell analysis, discovery labware and its new platforms of imaging and in vitro drug metabolism/toxicity testing,” Edward Ludwig, chairman, president, and CEO of BD said in a statement.

The planned sale “also allows us to direct our resources toward higher-growth opportunities in the pharmaceutical drug discovery arena,” Ludwig added. BD has still not disclosed the buyer.

BD has hired Goldman Sachs to be its financial advisor for the divestiture.


Beckman Coulter Announces Conference Call to Discuss Q4 2004 Results

Beckman Coulter said last week that it will host a conference call on Friday, Jan. 28, at 9:30 am EST to discuss its fourth quarter and 2004 year-end results.

The call will be hosted by John Wareham, chairman and CEO. Also participating will be Scott Garrett, president and chief operating officer, and James Glover, vice president and CFO.

There will also be a live webcast of the call. Interested parties may find more details on the company’s website, http://www.beckmancoulter.com.


Addex Searches for CNS Drugs with Ortho-McNeil

Addex Pharmaceuticals said this week that it has entered into a worldwide research collaboration and licensing agreement with Ortho-McNeil, a Johnson & Johnson company, to discover, develop, and commercialize compounds modulating G-protein coupled receptors for the treatment of anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ortho-McNeil will pay Addex an upfront fee and research funding for two years. In addition, Addex will be eligible for payments on successful milestone achievements, and royalties and payments, Adddex said.


Ambit to Profile Additional Compounds for Bristol-Myers, GSK, Pfizer

Ambit Biosciences will profile additional compounds for Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, and Pfizer using its kinase and screening technologies, the San Diego-based company said this week.

Ambit will use its kinase platform to profile the specificity of certain compounds from GSK and Bristol-Myers. The platform consists of more than 170 quantitative, high-throughput kinase assays.

The company will also try to identify and characterize the protein targets of certain Pfizer compounds using its reverse screening technology that covers a large fraction of all human proteins.

Ambit has had previous collaborations with all three drug makers.


Albany Molecular Research Signs Drug- Discovery Pact with Alcon

Albany Molecular Research announced last week that it has entered into a two-year research collaboration with Alcon Research to discover and develop ophthalmic pharmaceuticals.

Under the terms of the agreement, AMRI will screen samples from its natural product collections with the goal of identifying and developing lead compounds with activity against ophthalmic-related targets, and it will also provide custom chemical synthesis services.

The Scan

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.