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Evotec OAI, Aurora Discovery and NIH Chemical Genomics Center, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and Ingenuity Systems, Viventia Biotech and Affitech, Morphotek, and MDS Pharma Services and Qualyst

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Evotec Q4 Revenues Up 23 Percent Over Last Year

Evotec OAI’s fourth-quarter 2004 revenue jumped 23 percent over the same period in 2003, according to unaudited figures the Germany-based company released last week.

The company reported preliminary revenue of €25.3 million ($32.8 million) for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2004, compared to €20.5 million for the same quarter during the previous year.

However, revenue for the entire year fell to €72.7 million from €77.2 million one year ago. In a statement, Evotec blamed some of the decrease on cost control policies by pharmaceutical companies, soft financial markets, the weak US dollar, and the strong British pound.

“Our instrument business Evotec Technologies, which was not as significantly exposed to currency fluctuations, had a very successful 2004,” Dirk Ehlers, Evotec’s chief financial officer said in a statement. “The company increased margins and sales with new products and customers, and more than compensated one large order from Pfizer in 2003.”

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization for the fourth quarter swelled to €2.6 million from €600,000 for the same quarter in 2003.

As of Dec. 31, the company reported cash and marketable securities of €15.3 million and receivables of €16.3 million, which Evotec expects to reduce to historical average and convert into cash in early 2005.


Aurora Sells Several Liquid Handling Stations to NIH’s Chemical Genomics Center

The NIH’s Chemical Genomics Center will purchase several low-volume liquid handling workstations from Aurora Discovery, the San Diego-based company said last week.

The center plans to use the systems to develop chemical-probe research as part of the NIH’s Molecular Libraries Screening Centers Network initiative.

Aurora sells two low volume liquid handling systems, called Flying Reagent Dispenser and Picoliter Rapid Transfer Robot.


Ingenuity and Wyeth Expand Software Licensing Deal

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and Ingenuity Systems have expanded a license agreement between the companies pertaining to Ingenuity’s Pathways Analysis software, the companies said last week.

Wyeth’s researchers “downstream in the pharmaceutical value chain” would gain access to the software, Ingenuity CEO Jake Leschly said in the statement.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.


Affitech and Viventia Announce Research Milestone Achievements

Viventia Biotech and Affitech said last week that they have achieved the first two research milestones in their cancer research collaboration.

According to the companies, Affitech has discovered and selected several antibodies in a specific cancer area using its proprietary Cell-Based Antibody Selection technology, and screened the antibodies using Viventia’s ImmunoMine antibody-profiling platform.

The milestones have triggered an undisclosed research payment to Affitech, the companies said.


Morphotek Wins NCI Funding for High-Throughput Cytotoxicity Assays for Antibody Production

Morphotek said last week that it has been awarded a grant for an undisclosed amount from the Network for Translational Research in Optical Imaging consortium of the National Cancer Institute.

Exton, Pa.-based Morphotek will use the funding to support research to generate antibodies with enhanced antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity that are derived from genetically evolved cell lines using the company’s Morphodoma technology.

Morphotek will generate in vitro and in vivo high-throughput assays to screen and identify the genetically optimized antibody-producing cell clones.

The Morphodoma technology allows researchers to block an endogenous repair mechanism that all organisms use to ensure a high degree of accuracy in DNA replication, according to Nicholas Nicolaides, Morphotek’s president and chief executive officer. Morphotek has proprietary reagents that allow it to reversibly regulate the mismatch repair process; accumulate point mutations randomly throughout the genome of hosts; establish a library of genetically diverse cells; and generate a population of genetically diverse siblings for high-throughput screening, Nicolaides said.


MDS Pharma and Qualyst Partner for Hepatocyte Toxicity Tech in North America

MDS Pharma Services will make available Qualyst’s B-Clear system for studying hepatocyte toxicity to its customers in North America, the companies announced last week.

The B-Clear system is a sandwich-cultured hepatocyte system for the assessment of hepatobiliary disposition, biliary clearance, and drug transport.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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