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Molecular Devices, Invitrogen, PerkinElmer, Cenix, Schering, Yale


Molecular Devices' Q3 Revenues Increase 9 Percent as Company Turns a Profit

Molecular Devices last week reported a 9-percent increase in revenue and has turned a profit for the third quarter of 2005.

Revenues for the quarter ended Sept. 30 totaled $45.2 million, an 8.8-percent increase over last year's revenues of $41.5 million during the same quarter.

"In life sciences, we continued to see strong demand for our SpectraMax M5 bench-top reader," Joseph Keegan, Molecular Devices' president and CEO, said in a statement. "In drug discovery, we saw excellent growth in both our high-throughput electrophysiology and FLIPR product lines."

R&D spending in the quarter remained flat at $6.4 million, the company said.

Molecular Devices posted a $4.6-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a $1.3-million loss year over year.

As of Sept. 30, Molecular Devices had $12.2 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Molecular Devices said it anticipates revenues of $52 million to $54 million in the fourth quarter, an increase of between 9.4 percent and 13.7 percent. The company also said it anticipates revenues of $181 million to $183 million for the full year of 2005.

For the full-year 2006, Molecular Devices said it anticipates revenues of $192 million to $202 million.

Acquisitions Drive 13-Percent Q3 Revenue Growth for Invitrogen, But Profit Falls

Invitrogen last week reported a 13-percent year-over year increase in third-quarter revenues, of which 12 percent was attributed to acquisitions. The company posted a 15-percent decrease in net income, however, related to its recent purchase of Dynal Biotech.

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, Invitrogen reported revenues of $289.6 million, compared to $256.3 million reported for the third quarter of 2004.

The company's BioDiscovery business segment grew by 24 percent year over year, to $182 million from $146.7 million, but the BioProduction segment declined by 2 percent, to $107.7 million from $109.6 million.

Invitrogen's net income fell to $23.9 million for the third quarter from $28.2 million in the prior-year period. The company attributed the 15-percent decrease to a non-cash charge of around $5.2 million related to inventory adjustments associated with the recent acquisition of Dynal Biotech.

Third-quarter earnings per share decreased 18 percent to $.42, from $.51 in the third quarter of 2004.

R&D spending rose to $26.4 million in the quarter, from $19.2 million in the third quarter of 2004.

Invitrogen had $961.6 million in cash and investments as of Sept. 30.

In addition, Invitrogen said during its Q3 conference call that it would be closing the Hayward-Calif.-based facilities of recent acquisition Quantum Dot Corporation and that it was initiating "substantial terminations" or relocations to Molecular Probes' Eugene, Ore.-based facility (see related story, this issue).

PerkinElmer's Life and Analytical Sciences Business Posts 6-Percent Q3 Revenue Growth

PerkinElmer's Life and Analytical Sciences business unit last week reported revenue of $259.1 million for the third quarter of 2005, up 6 percent from $243.7 million in the third quarter of 2004.

The company attributed the growth of this business to its genetic screening, service, and environmental businesses.

PerkinElmer posted total third-quarter 2005 revenue of $361.9 million, a 6 percent increase over $341.6 million in the third quarter of 2004.

Earlier this month, the company said it planned to divest its Fluid Sciences business in order to focus on the health science market, which was responsible for 81 percent of PerkinElmer's total revenues for the quarter.

PerkinElmer reported net income of $31.8 million, a 32-percent increase over $24 million in the third quarter of 2004.

The company reported GAAP earnings per share from continuing operations of $.20, an increase of 43 percent over GAAP earnings per share of $.14 in the prior-year period.

PerkinElmer spent $21.8 million on R&D during the third quarter of 2005, up slightly from $20.4 million in the comparable period of 2004.

As of Oct. 2, PerkinElmer had cash and cash equivalents of $166.1 million.

Cenix, Schering Expand RNAi Target Validation Partnership

Cenix BioScience said last week that it has signed a new agreement with German drugmaker Schering extending the companies' target validation partnership.

According to Cenix, the new deal comes after the successful completion of a pilot project, begun in late 2004, that combined the company's high-throughput RNAi technology with multiplexed, high-content phenotypic analyses to generate for Schering in vitro validation data for over 100 target candidates in multiple mammalian cell types.

Having met all the performance milestones under this arrangement, Cenix has signed the latest agreement with Schering that will involve Cenix carrying out up to six more similar projects in human cells to screen through large collections of target candidate genes previously identified by Schering.

Specific terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.

Yale Scientists Conducting Cellular Analysis in $12.3M NIH National Technology Center

Two Yale scientists conducting research on how cells interact with their environments are part of a research team receiving a $12.3-million, five-year grant as part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Roadmap for Biomedical Research, Yale said last week.

The team of 17 cell biologists and physical scientists include Yale faculty members Eric Dufresne, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, chemical engineering and physics, and Thomas Pollard, chair and professor of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology, who will develop methods to quantitatively measure, model, and manipulate live cells.

Leslie Loew, professor of cell biology at the University of Connecticut Health Center is the principal investigator for the grant, which is one of five National Technology Centers for Networks and Pathways.

The three core technology projects are designed to study how cells control the location of their molecular components and how that distribution is used to optimize cell functions. Wound healing and muscle contraction are examples of biological processes that rely on interacting pathways and communication among genes, proteins, and cells.

"Our group is developing non-invasive methods for manipulating matter with light. We use our holographic optical tweezer systems to trap, pull, position, and twist up to about one hundred microparticles simultaneously," Dufresne said in a statement. "We will stimulate individual cells with precisely coordinated biochemical and mechanical signals to quantify their dynamic response. Using multiple probes together, we will be able to measure cooperative effects in cell signaling."

Pollard's team will use calibrated fluorescent microscopy to quantify precisely the number and physical arrangement of actin molecules at the leading edge of single-celled amoebas as they move, Yale said in a statement.

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.