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Molecular Devices, Millipore, ES Cell, ITI Life Sciences, Euroscreen

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Molecular Devices Posts Flat Q4 Revenue and R&D Spend as Profit Tumbles 31 Percent
 
Molecular Devices this week said fourth-quarter revenues remained virtually flat as R&D spending was unchanged and profit decreased 31 percent.
 
Total receipts for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2006, increased to $52.8 million from $52.7 million year over year. Molecular Devices did not break out revenues by business unit.
 
R&D spending was flat at $6.3 million in both quarters, and the company said that profit declined to $4 million from $5.8 million in the year-ago period.
 
Molecular Devices said it had around $22.8 million in cash and equivalents as of Dec. 31.
 
This week MDS said it plans to acquire Molecular Devices for $615 million in cash (see related stories, this issue).
 

 
Millipore Sales Grow 50 Percent in Q4, Profits Surge 17-Fold
 
Millipore this week said fourth-quarter revenues increased 50 percent while R&D spending rose 41 percent and profit increased 17-fold year-over-year.
 
Total receipts for the three months ended Dec. 31 increased to $383 million from $256 million year over year.
 
Compared with the fourth quarter of 2005, sales in the company’s Bioprocess segment were up 42 percent to $224 million, while the Bioscience segment gained 61 percent with sales of $158 million.
 
Company chairman and CEO Martin Madaus attributed much of the growth to improved execution, BioProcess and Bioscience sales, and acquisitions, including the purchase in July of Serologicals for $1.4 billion.
 
R&D spending increased to $23.9 million from $17 million year over year.
 
The company said profits increased to approximately $18.5 million from $1 million in the year-ago period.
 
Millipore said it had around $537 million in cash and cash equivalents as of Dec. 31.
 

 
ES Cell Licenses hESC Patents to Scotland’s ITI Life Sciences
 
ES Cell International and ITI Life Sciences this week announced the signing of a non-exclusive research license agreement.
 
The license involves two British patents granted to ESI that cover aspects of human embryonic stem cell growth and differentiation, and will “form an important component” of the £9.5 million ($18.8 million) Stem Cell Technologies R&D program launched in January by ITI Life Sciences (see CBA News, 1/19/2007).
 
The patents in the licensing deal include GB 2396623, which has broad claims to a method of culturing hES cells on human feeder cells, or growth medium previously conditioned by the feeders; and GB 2399819, which covers methods of genetically modifying hES cells using a lentiviral transduction system.
 
Financial details of the arrangement were not disclosed.
 

 
Euroscreen and Cephalon Extend GPCR Drug-Discovery Collaboration
 
Euroscreen this week said that it has extended the term of an agreement with Cephalon to collaborate on multiple drug-discovery programs through 2009.
 
Euroscreen and Cephalon initiated the collaboration in 2004 to discover and develop small-molecule drugs for central nervous system diseases and targeting G-protein coupled receptors. Specifically, the companies use PerkinElmer’s AequoScreen functional assay technology to generate small-molecule leads across a broad range of GPCR targets.
 
Under the terms of the agreement, Euroscreen will receive R&D payments and additional milestone payments for successful programs. Euroscreen retains rights to programs that are not pursued by Cephalon under the collaboration.
 
PerkinElmer acquired Euroscreen’s portfolio of GPCR screening tools and its exclusive global license to the AequoScreen technology for €14 million ($18.1 million) in January (see CBA News, 12/22/2006). Euroscreen, based in Brussels, Belgium, retained its rights to the use of all of Euroscreen Products' GPCR cell lines, membranes, and AequoScreen technology for future use in its research and custom services businesses.
 
“This expansion of our collaboration is one example of our increased focus on our drug development business following the recent acquisition of our Euroscreen Products SA business by PerkinElmer,” Jean Combalbert, CEO of Euroscreen, said in a statement.