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Cyntellect, Vitra Bioscience, Cellectricon, MNLpharma and VasTox, Molecular Devices, PerkinElmer, Beckman Coulter, and Becton Dickinson

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Cyntellect Snags Customer for Cell Xpress Service

San Diego-based Cyntellect said last week that it has entered into a formal agreement with an undisclosed US-based biotechnology company to access its Cell Xpress service.

The agreement is the second publicly announced by Cyntellect since the service was launched in October 2004. Later that month, the company announced it had signed a partnership for Cell Xpress with Protein Design Labs (see Inside Bioassays, 11/2/2004).

Cyntellect’s LEAP (Laser-Enabled Analysis and Processing) platform, which is part of the company’s Cell Xpress service, allows researchers to image and measure protein secretions in situ in high-throughput on individual cells, as well as use laser-based elimination of undesired cells.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.


Vitra Licenses IDBS Software for Integration with CellCard System

Vitra Bioscience this week announced that it has licensed IDBS’ MathIQ data-analysis software for integration with Vitra’s CellCard System for multiplexed, high-content cellular screening.

The new integrated product will provide scientists with ready-to-use curve-fitting and expansive statistical capabilities to analyze data directly on the CellCard System, alleviating the need for IT support, Vitra said.

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.


Cellectricon Opens US Subsidiary

Swedish biotech Cellectricon this week announced that it has opened a US subsidiary, to be headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md.

Peter Tunon has been retained as the company’s president, and Thomas Guel as its chief operating officer. Cellectricon’s headquarters remain in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Cellectricon said it opened the branch to provide sales and technical support in the US and Canada for its Dynaflow Pro microfluidics platform for conducting cell-based assays.


MNLpharma Announces Results of VasTox Compound Screen

UK-based MNLpharma this week announced the results of a chemical genomics screening deal with chemical genomics firm VasTox.

The collaboration provided MNLpharma with in vivo data on its proprietary immunomodulators, the company said.

VasTox’s technology platform uses high-volume, high-content screening using zebrafish and fruitfly models to predict the efficacy and toxicity of potential human drug compounds, VasTox said.


Molecular Devices to Announce Q4, Year-End Earnings

Molecular Devices said last week that it would announce its fourth quarter and year-ending 2004 earnings on Feb. 10, after the close of regular market trading.

Senior management will hold a conference call the following day at 8:00 a.m. Pacific (11:00 a.m. Eastern) to discuss operating results and other business matters, MDCC said.

Conference call dial-in numbers for participants are 800-289-0572 (domestic) and 913-981-5543 (international). Investors may access a live web cast of the call through a link posted on the MDCC website, http://www.moleculardevices.com.


PerkinElmer Q4 Revenues Jump 11 Percent on Strong Gene-Screening Business Growth

Spurred by revenue in its Life and Analytical Sciences division, PerkinElmer’s total receipts jumped 11 percent in the fourth quarter of 2004, the company reported last week.

Total company revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31 shot up to $478 million from $431.8 million in the year-ago period. The Life and Analytical Sciences division saw revenue grow to $311 million in the fourth quarter of 2004 from $290 million in the same period last year – a rise of 6.8 percent.

The company attributed the division’s growth during the quarter to “double-digit” revenue growth in its genetic-screening, -service and environmental businesses.

PerkinElmer’s R&D expenses for the fourth quarter of 2004 were up $4.7 million to $23.6 million.

Net income grew 27 percent, as PerkinElmer reported $37.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2004, compared to $27.9 million year-over-year.

PerkinElmer had around $197.5 million in cash and equivalents as of Jan. 2.


Beckman Coulter’s Q4 Revenues Increase 9 Percent

Beckman Coulter last week reported revenues of $694 million for the quarter ending Dec. 31, an increase of 9 percent over $639 million for the year-ago period.

Beckman’s net earnings for the period were $60 million, down 15 percent from last year’s $70 million in the fourth quarter.

The company said the drop in its net revenues was a consequence of growing sales of its diagnostic instrument systems, which should result in increased revenue in the future from the consumption of aftermarket test kits, the company said. Beckman did not give a time frame to expect the growth to come.

Beckman reported R&D expenditures of $54 million for the quarter, compared to $55 million for the year-ago quarter.

The company had cash and cash equivalents of $68 million as of Dec. 31.


BD’s Q1 Revenues Up 9 Percent, Led by Biosciences, Medical Segment

Led by double-digit revenue growth in its biosciences and medical segments, Becton Dickinson last week reported $1.3 billion in the first quarter, up 9 percent over $1.2 billion in revenues for the year-ago period.

The company’s biosciences segment had revenues of $181 million, up 15 percent over the year-ago period’s $157 million. The rise in revenues was attributed primarily to sales of the company’s FacsCanto analyzer, and the FacsAria cell sorter, and sales of flow cytometry reagents to the clinical and research markets.

BD Medical had sales of $694 million, up 11 percent over the year-ago period’s $627 million in revenue, while BD Diagnostics had sales of $414 million, up 3 percent over the previous period’s $401 million in sales.

R&D expenditures were up 6.5 percent to $62 million for the period, compared to $58 million last year.

BD’s operating income for the quarter was $250 million, up 48 percent over $168 million in Q1 FY ‘04.

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

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.