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Fisher, Beckman Coulter, Cellectricon, AstraZeneca, CellCentric, Serologicals, LINCO, Invitrogen, Media Cybernetics, AutoQuant


Fisher Logs 8.3-Percent Increase in Organic Q1 Revenues as Profit Grows 40 Percent

Fisher Scientific this week said that first-quarter sales increased 7.6 percent to $1.41 billion from $1.31 billion one year ago. Excluding the impact of foreign currency exchange, Fisher's Q1 revenues would have totaled $1.43 billion, a 9.6-percent increase, with organic growth accounting for 8.3 percent.

First-quarter sales for Fisher's scientific products and services spiked 9.8 percent to $1.08 billion from $984 million one year ago. Excluding the impact of foreign currency exchange, revenues for this division would have increased 11.4 percent, with 7.1 percent organic growth.

Fisher's healthcare products and services group logged $354 million, up 5 percent from $337 million year over year. Excluding foreign currency impact, sales growth for this division was 5.5 percent, with 5 percent in organic growth.

Fisher's profit for the first quarter increased 40 percent to $106.2 million, or $.85 per basic share, from $76 million, or $.63 per basic share year over year.

In March, Fisher said it would jettison its lab workstations business, and as such the results of this business were presented as discontinued operations and excluded from reported sales and income figures.

Fisher does not break out R&D spending. As of March 31, the company had approximately $434 million in cash and cash equivalents on hand.

The company also said this week that it has completed its acquisition of Clintrak Pharmaceutical Service, originally announced in mid-April, for $125 million in cash.

Beckman Coulter's Q1 Revenue Slides 1 Percent as Profit Jumps 27 Percent

Beckman Coulter this week said revenues for the first quarter dipped slightly, while net income grew by over a quarter.

Beckman posted $560 million in revenues for the quarter ended March 31, a 1.2 percent decline from the $576 million the company earned in the same period of last year. The company attributed the decline to a change in instrument leasing policy.

Beckman said that it spent $55 million on R&D in the first quarter, compared to $48 million in the comparable period last year.

Net income for the quarter grew 27 percent to $41.4 million from $32.6 million in the year-ago period.

As of March 31, Beckman had $59 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Beckman said it expects second-quarter revenue to be between $620 million and $645 million, as compared to the $618.8 million the company posted for the second quarter last year.

Cellectricon and AstraZeneca May Co-Develop Ion Channel Screening Tech

Cellectricon said this week that it has an ongoing collaboration with AstraZeneca that may see the two companies co-develop a new cell-based microfluidic screening platform.

Cellectricon said that the new platform would be aimed at increasing the performance of cell-based ion channel assays.

AstraZeneca is one of Cellectricon's earliest and largest customers for its current DynaFlow ion channel screening technology. Last year, Cellectricon announced that it had placed DynaFlow platforms at multiple AstraZeneca sites, including labs in the US and UK (see CBA News, 7/11/2005).

Further details about the new collaboration were not disclosed.

UK Government Awards CellCentric $2M to Develop Epigenetic Cell-Based Screens

The UK's Department of Trade and Industry has awarded CellCentric £1.15 million ($2.1 million) to support development of cell-based screens for proteins and small molecules responsible for epigenetic changes, the company said this week.

The DTI's Technology Program provided the funding as part of a £2.3 million, three-year program that also includes the Gurdon Institute and the Babraham Institute at the University of Cambridge and the University of Nottingham.

The epigenetic screens are expected to have applicability in bioprocessing, regenerative medicine, and cancer therapeutics, CellCentric said.

Serologicals Wraps Up $74.8M LINCO Acquisition

Serologicals has completed its acquisition of LINCO, the company said this week.

Serologicals disclosed its plan to buy LINCO in March and said it would close last month.

Privately held LINCO comprises LINCO Research and LINCO Diagnostic Services. LRI sells multiplex, ELISA, and RIA immunoassay products and technologies, and LDS provides bioanalytical contract services supporting research and drug development. The company is based in St. Louis.

As expected, Serologicals paid $64.5 million in cash for the stock of LINCO plus $10.3 million for the land and buildings the company occupies.

Last week, Millipore said it plans to pay $1.4 billion to acquire Serologicals (see CBA News, 4/28/2006).

Invitrogen to Spend $23.3M to Expand Scottish Facility; Will Become New Euro HQ

Invitrogen will spend £12.7 million ($23.3 million) to consolidate and expand its operations in Scotland, the Scottish Enterprise, the nation's main economic-development agency, said this week.

Among the expansion is a plan to create a new global corporate research center in Inchinnan in the outskirts of Glasgow, which will also become Invitrogen's new European headquarters.

The move, which will be supported with a £4.3-million investment from Scotland's Deputy First Minister Nicol Stephen, will potentially create 45 new jobs and safeguard 555 existing Invitrogen positions in Scotland, the Scottish Enterprise said. Asked whether the jobs had been in jeopardy, a Scottish Enterprise spokesperson said Invitrogen could have expended anyplace in Europe, but since it chose Scotland those positions will remain safeguarded.

Terms of the expansion call for Invitrogen to amalgamate its current manufacturing and product development sites across Scotland into the Inchinnan Business Park.

The base, which will be moved into a 90,000-square-foot facility, will become the firm's European headquarters, and will have additional resources for R&D, sales, finance, legal, and customer services functions.

The move will "enable the company to meet increased business demand in a more cost effective way and has the potential for future expansion," Bernd Brust, vice president and general manager of Invitrogen Europe, said in a statement.

An Invitrogen spokesperson said construction on the new facility will begin this summer, and it is slated to open in the fall of 2007. Invitrogen will finish transferring staff and operations at that time, the spokesperson added.

Media Cybernetics Acquires Assets of AutoQuant

Scientific image-analysis software provider Media Cybernetics this week said it had acquired the assets of AutoQuant, a firm based out of Troy, NY, that specializes in image restoration, visualization, and analysis software products for life science microscopy.

The AutoQuant software product line will continue to be available via reseller channels worldwide, Media Cybernetics said. Media Cybernetics will provide all existing AutoQuant software customers with ongoing support, maintenance, and further development of the product line.

Financial details were not disclosed.

The Scan

Study Tracks Off-Target Gene Edits Linked to Epigenetic Features

Using machine learning, researchers characterize in BMC Genomics the potential off-target effects of 19 computed or experimentally determined epigenetic features during CRISPR-Cas9 editing.

Coronary Artery Disease Risk Loci, Candidate Genes Identified in GWAS Meta-Analysis

A GWAS in Nature Genetics of nearly 1.4 million coronary artery disease cases and controls focused in on more than 200 candidate causal genes, including the cell motility-related myosin gene MYO9B.

Multiple Sclerosis Contributors Found in Proteome-Wide Association Study

With a combination of genome-wide association and brain proteome data, researchers in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology tracked down dozens of potential multiple sclerosis risk proteins.

Quality Improvement Study Compares Molecular Tumor Boards, Central Consensus Recommendations

With 50 simulated cancer cases, researchers in JAMA Network Open compared molecular tumor board recommendations with central consensus plans at a dozen centers in Japan.