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Caliper, Corning, ALS Association, Galapagos, Phylonix, Beckman Coulter, Thermo Fisher

Caliper Sells Multiple LabChips, IVIS Imagers to Pharma, Biotech
Caliper this week said that it has “expanded” sales of its LabChip and IVIS drug-discovery tools to top-tier customers including Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Momenta Pharmaceuticals.
Financial details were not disclosed.
LabChip is Caliper’s flagship microfluidics-based drug-discovery platform, and IVIS is its small-animal imager obtained in its recent acquisition of Xenogen. Caliper has begun marketing the products together as a way to bridge research data from in vitro to in vivo experimentation.

Corning Opens ‘Applications Centers’ for Epic System in Upstate NY, France
Corning this week announced the opening of its Epic Applications Centers, which will provide product demonstrations and support services to users of Corning’s recently launched Epic label-free screening system.
The centers will be located in Big Flats, NY, and Fontainebleau, France, and will give researchers the opportunity to evaluate the Epic product before and to receive product support after purchase, Corning said.
Epic uses resonant waveguide optical sensing for label-free biochemical and cell-based screening.

ALS Association Teams With Galapagos, Stem Cell Innovations for Drug Discovery
Belgian drug-discovery firm Galapagos and the ALS Association this week announced they had entered into a two-year target-discovery alliance.
Under the terms of the deal, Galapagos’ service division BioFocus will apply its adenoviral platform to identify drug targets for the development of new therapies for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Central to the agreement is the use of PluriCell plutipotent stem cells that can produce motor neurons to be used in the target-discovery screens. PluriCells are produced by Stem Cell Innovations of Houston, Tex., and Leiden, The Netherlands.
Financial details for Stem Cell Innovations’ participation were not disclosed. Galapagos said that it may receive up to E2.4 million ($3 million) from the ALS Association. In addition, Galapagos has the option to further develop certain targets identified in the program.

Phylonix Wins $500K SBIR Grant for Zebrafish Toxicity Screens
Phylonix this week said that it has received a $500,000 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Science Foundation to assess the potential toxic effects of chemicals on human organs and tissues using a panel of zebrafish assays.
“This award validates the importance of zebrafish as a predictive model for assessing toxic effects of environmental contaminants on mammalian development,” Patricia McGrath, Phylonix’s president and CEO said in a statement.

Beckman Coulter Pockets $600M in Notes After Investors Bite Option
Beckman Coulter this week said it has pocketed $600 million after it placed $525 million in convertible senior notes and after initial buyers decided to exercise their option to purchase $75 million more.
Beckman Coulter said it plans to use the cash to pay debts and to increase R&D spending, including developing a molecular diagnostics project. It announced the original $525 million offering earlier in the week.
The notes will pay 2.5 percent semiannually and on occasions at the beginning of a six-month period in December 2012.

Thermo Fisher Raises '07 Revenue Guidance 2 Percent
Thermo Fisher Scientific this week said it has raised its 2007 revenue guidance by around 2 percent.
Thermo said it expects 2007 revenue to be between $9.4 billion and $9.5 billion. Earlier this year CEO Marijn Dekkers predicted that receipts for the year would be between $9.2 billion and $9.3 billion.
The revised guidance marks an increase of between 7 percent and 8 percent over the $8.8 billion in revenue the company would have generated in 2006 had their merger occurred that year.
In its statement, Thermo said most of the increased revenues will come from organic growth as opposed to acquisitions.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.