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Millipore, Serologicals, Becton Dickinson, Molecular Devices, Evotec, Roche, Sankyo, Sigma-Aldrich


Millipore to Buy Serologicals for $1.4B in Cash in Bid for New Markets

Millipore will acquire Serologicals for $1.4 billion in cash, which is how much revenue the combined company will likely generate this year, the firms said this week.

The acquisition will enable Millipore's Bioscience Division, which includes tools for protein and DNA research, analytical samples preparation, and bioassay development, to play in the drug-discovery products and services, antibodies, cell-biology reagents, and stem cell research markets.

Serologicals has recently significantly increased its stake in the cell-based assay and high-content screening markets via a co-marketing agreement with Cellumen (see CBA News, 2/10/2006); its plans to acquire Vitra Bioscience (2/24/2006); and its acquisition of ion-channel screening firm Cytomyx (3/17/2006).

Millipore's Bioprocess Division, meantime, will gain Serologicals' cell culture supplements, which will help it to enter the upstream bioprocessing market, which it pegs at $1 billion. Combined, these products will enable Millipore to sell upstream cell culture and downstream separation offerings for biopharmaceutical production.

Millipore said it expects to increase sales of Serologicals' products in international markets such as Europe, Asia and Japan, where Millipore has a significant presence.

Millipore also said the buy will enable it to generate around $1.4 billion in combined 2006 and grow 2007 receipts by between 9 and 11 percent year over year. Serologicals generated $274.9 million in revenue last year, a 40.3-percent increase over 2004.

The combined company, which will employ around 5,800 people, will "have significantly expanded" R&D capabilities and a worldwide sales, sales support, and service organization.

The acquisition is expected to close by June 30.

Serologicals Reports Q1 Revenue Decline as R&D Spending Surges and Profit Nearly Doubles

One day after it said it would be acquired by MIlliopore, Serologicals this week reported that first-quarter revenues slipped 2.8 percent as R&D spending jumped 11 percent and profits nearly doubled.

Total receipts for the three months ended April 2 fell to $55 million from $56.6 million in the year-ago period.

R&D spending increased to $5 million from $4.5 million.

Profits swelled to $2.8 million, or $.08 per basic share, from $1.9 million, or $.06 per basic share year over year.

Serologicals said it had around $43 million in cash and equivalents as of April 2.

Becton Dickinson Says Fiscal Q2 Revenues Grow 6 Percent as R&D Spending Surges and Profits Fall

Becton Dickinson today said this week that total revenues for its fiscal second quarter increased 6.1 percent as R&D spending surged 96 percent and profits declined.

Total receipts for the three months ended March 31 increased to $1.45 billion from $1.37 billion year over year. Revenue from the BD Biosciences unit grew 7.7 percent to $219 million year over year, the second-highest growth this period from among the company's three divisions.

R&D spending increased to $129 million from $66 million in the year-ago period, the company said.

Profits declined to $154 million, or $.63 per share, from $188.2 million, or $.74 per share, year over year.

Molecular Devices Posts 5-Percent Organic Revenue Growth as Profits Rise 55.5 Percent

Molecular Devices this week said that first-quarter revenue grew 5 percent organically as R&D spending declined 11.3 percent and profits rose 55.5 percent.

Total receipts for the three months ended March 31 rose around 2.5 percent to $40 million from $39 million year over year, hurt by foreign currency effects. Without these effects, revenue grew 5 percent, the company said.

The company said it "saw excellent growth" in its SpectraMax, FLIPR, and high-content imaging product lines during the quarter. But the firm said this growth was "somewhat offset" by a "weaker than expected" quarter in Europe.

"We remain confident, however, that our worldwide life sciences and drug discovery markets will remain stable in the near-term, and we do not expect this weakness to continue," President and CEO Joseph Keegan said in a statement.

R&D spending for the period declined to $5.5 million from $6.2 million year over year.

First-quarter profits more than doubled to $2.8 million, or $.17 per basic share, from $1.8 million, or $.11 per basic share, year over year.

Molecular Devices said it had around $33.2 million in cash and equivalents as of March 31.

Looking ahead, the company said it is poised to generate between $49 million and $51 million in second-quarter revenues, or growth of between 10.1 percent and 14.6 percent. Receipts for 2006, meantime, will likely be between $198 million and $206 million, growing between 9.3 percent and 13.7 percent.

Evotec Signs Drug-Discovery Deals with Roche, Sankyo

Evotec this week said that it has signed two service contracts with Roche for medicinal chemistry.

Specifically, the contracts extend the global medicinal chemistry agreement signed between the companies in May 2004 for an additional year, and its medicinal chemistry collaboration in oncology, signed in October 2003, for an additional two years, Evotec said.

In addition, Evotec said this week that Sankyo has selected the firm as a partner to identify small-molecule therapeutics for its pharmaceutical discovery projects.

Evotec said it will apply its assay development and ultra-high throughput screening technology to identify biologically active molecules from its library that interact with undisclosed Sankyo disease targets.

Sigma-Aldrich Forms RNAi Program With Academia to Distribute, Study TRC Library

Sigma-Aldrich has created a worldwide "RNAi Partnership Program" with several academic institutions with the aim of distributing data collected by The RNAi Consortium library with the RNAi community, the company said this week.

The company, a member of the TRC, said it has signed on four such centers, naming only Rutgers' Bionomics Research and Technologies Core, a collaboration between the university's Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute and Department of Genetics. A company spokesperson declined to name the other three but said Sigma will disclose them in the coming weeks.

The program is "a relationship-building opportunity," the spokesperson said.

As part of the program, scientists from the participating organizations will be given access to a "broad portfolio" of intellectual property, early access to "emerging new technologies," and "special partnership pricing" on a range of Sigma-owned functional genomics and RNAi products, the company said.

Sigma will also offer participating centers early access to "new technologies" developed through the TRC alliance, and enable Sigma-Aldrich scientists to "validate current and emerging RNAi technologies," the company said.

The spokesperson said the program aims to encourage participating centers to share validation data and collaborate with the company.

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