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GlaxoSmithKline, Immune Disease Institute, MDS, PerkinElmer

Glaxo, Immune Disease Institute Join Forces for Immunoinflammation Research
GlaxoSmithKline and the Immune Disease Institute of Boston this week announced a five-year, $25 million immunoinflammation research collaboration.
The collaboration will combine IDI’s immunological expertise with GSK’s pharmaceutical capabilities, GSK said. The partnership will allow researchers at both institutions to develop joint grant proposals in targeted areas of research under a competitive alliance research grant program.
GSK will receive an exclusive right of first negotiation for a substantial portion of the new technologies discovered and disclosed by IDI scientists during the term of the agreement. The research term for the collaboration is five years and will be anchored through GSK’s Immuno-Inflammation Centre of Excellence in Drug Discovery.

MDS Posts 24 Percent Q2 Revenue Growth
MDS this week reported that its second-quarter 2008 revenues rose 24 percent, though only 5 percent excluding the impact of currency exchange and acquisitions.
The Toronto-based firm brought in revenues of $326 million for the three-month period ended April 30, compared to $263 million in the comparable period of 2007.
Among its three divisions, MDS Pharma Services had 11 percent revenue growth to $128 million for the quarter, or 1 percent growth excluding currency effects. MDS Nordion had revenue growth of 13 percent, including 9 percent growth from currency exchange, to $80 million.
MDS Analytical Technologies, which includes the firm’s mass spectrometry products and the Molecular Devices business, had 53 percent revenue growth to $118 million. Excluding foreign currency effects and the contribution of Molecular Devices, revenues for the segment grew 15 percent.
Molecular Devices, which MDS purchased during last year’s second quarter for $615 million, contributed $55 million of revenue for the second quarter of 2008.
MDS posted a profit of $11 million, or $.09 per share, for the quarter, compared to a profit of $737 million, or $5.35 per share, for the second quarter of 2007. Last year’s results included $792 million in income from discontinued operations, which was related to the sale of its diagnostics services business to Borealis Infrastructure Management.
The firm’s R&D spending increased 37.5 percent to $22 million for the quarter, while its SG&A costs rose 23 percent to $75 million.
MDS finished the quarter with $139 million in cash and cash equivalents.
The company expects to report revenues of between $1.35 billion and $1.4 billion for full-year 2008, up from its 2007 revenues of $1.21 billion.
One issue that could affect MDS’ financial results going forward was a recent decision by Atomic Energy of Canada and the Canadian government to discontinue development of nuclear reactors, which were to supply the MDS Nordion business with medical isotopes under a 40-year deal.
“MDS will continue to evaluate the intangible asset for possible impairment and the relevant financial reporting implications based upon the progress of any dialogue, negotiations, or legal proceedings between AECL, the Government of Canada and the company,” MDS said in a statement.

PerkinElmer Sells $150M in Senior Notes in Private Placement
PerkinElmer disclosed in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission this week that it has privately placed $150 million of 6 percent Series 2008-A Senior Notes due May 30, 2015, with a number of investors.
Under the terms of the agreement, PerkinElmer said that it may at its own discretion issue additional senior notes in the amount of up to $400 million. The firm said that it may use the proceeds from the offering to finance mergers, acquisitions, capital expenditures, stock repurchases, dividends, debt refinancing, and for other general corporate purposes.
According to the filing, note holders include Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, New York Life Insurance Company, Aviva Life and Annuity Company, Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, and several other investors.

The Scan

Expanded Genetic Testing Uncovers Hereditary Cancer Risk in Significant Subset of Cancer Patients

In Genome Medicine, researchers found pathogenic or likely pathogenic hereditary cancer risk variants in close to 17 percent of the 17,523 patients profiled with expanded germline genetic testing.

Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy Embryos Appear Largely Normal in Single-Cell 'Omics Analyses

Embryos produced with spindle transfer-based mitochondrial replacement had delayed demethylation, but typical aneuploidy and transcriptome features in a PLOS Biology study.

Cancer Patients Report Quality of Life Benefits for Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

Immune checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy was linked in JAMA Network Open to enhanced quality of life compared to other treatment types in cancer patients.

Researchers Compare WGS, Exome Sequencing-Based Mendelian Disease Diagnosis

Investigators find a diagnostic edge for whole-genome sequencing, while highlighting the cost advantages and improving diagnostic rate of exome sequencing in EJHG.