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Molecular Devices, PerkinElmer, Beckman Coulter, and Protein Design Labs and Cyntellect


Molecular Devices Reports Lackluster Drug-Discovery Product Sales, Net Loss

Molecular Devices announced last week that it had posted a 42-percent surge in total revenue in the third quarter of 2004, but posted a net loss and warned of the future of its drug-discovery product lines.

The company reported a 42-percent increase in revenue for the three months ended Sept. 30, to $41.5 million, from $29.3 million for the same period a year ago. The company attributed the increase to “continued ... growth in our core MDC life sciences products due to the success of the SpectraMax M2 bench-top reader and Meta series of cellular imaging products,” Joseph Keegan, president and CEO, said in a statement.

“However, a number of our drug discovery product lines, including Discovery-1, IonWorks, and Analyst did not meet our expectations for the quarter,” he said. “As a result of this unanticipated weakness, we have become more cautious about the state of the overall market.”

Molecular Devices spent 6.4 million on R&D, $1.8 million more than it spent in the year-ago period, the company said.

The company also said that third-quarter net loss was $1.3 million, or $.07 per share, compared with a net income of $2.3 million, or $.15 per share, year over year. The company attributed the loss to costs associated with its acquisition of Axon for $68 million, which closed in March. (See Inside Bioassays, 4/20/2004)

The company said it had around $19.4 million in cash and equivalents as of Sept. 30.

PerkinElmer Q3 Revenue Up 10 Percent on Increased LAS Business

PerkinElmer said last week that increasing revenues in its Life and Analytical Sciences division offset lower biopharma receipts and helped the company post a 10-percent jump in third-quarter revenue.

Total receipts for the period ended Sept. 30 increased to $403 million from $366 million one year ago. Revenue from the company’s Life and Analytical Sciences division grew 4 percent, to $243.7 million from $235.1 million.

PerkinElmer’s Life and Analytical Sciences business reported revenues of $244 million for the period, up from $235 million for the third quarter in 2003.

Included in the LAS business are ImageTrak, the company’s epifluorescence-based imaging system for performing kinetic and end-point assays on cells, and the EnVision HTS plate reader.

Research and development expenses were $21 million for the period, up from $20 million for the same quarter in 2003.

Net income during the quarter surged to $24 million, or $.19 per share, from $14 million, or $.11 per share, in the year-ago quarter.

The company reported cash and cash equivalents of $220 million on hand at the end of the quarter.

Beckman Coulter Sees 8-Percent Rise in Q3 Revenues; 5-Percent for Biomedical Research

Beckman Coulter last week reported sales of $581 million for the third quarter, up over $535 million one year ago.

The company’s Biomedical Research Division increased by 5 percent year over year. Clinical Diagnostics, by comparison, was up 10 percent.

Included in Beckman’s Biomedical Research Division is the centrifuge/analytical systems product grouping, sales for which increased by just half of one percent in the third quarter. This division houses the company’s CellLab suite of products, which includes the IC 100 imaging cytometer, the reincarnation of the flagship technology Beckman added when it acquired Q3DM late last year.

Beckman will also be adding to CellLab a flow-based cellular analysis system, which it is sub-licensing from NPE Systems and further developing in a collaborative effort. (See Inside Bioassays, 8/17/2004)

R&D spending for the period increased to $51.5 million from $46.5 million. Net earnings for the quarter jumped to $57 million, or $.93 per basic earnings per share, from $40 million, or $.65 per basic earnings per share, for the same quarter in 2003.

The company reported cash and cash equivalents of $31 million on hand as of Sept. 30.

Protein Design Labs to Use Cyntellect’s LEAP Platform

Protein Design Labs will use Cyntellect’s Cell Xpress Laser Enabled Analysis and Processing service, the companies said last week.

Cyntellect’s LEAP platform, which is part of the company’s Cell Xpress service, allows researchers to image and measure protein secretions in situ in high-throughput on individual cells.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The news comes a little over a month after Cyntellect received approximately $1.5 million in a Phase II Small Business Innovative Research grant to continue developing RNA interference applications on the LEAP platform. The company is developing LEAP to optically inject a wide variety of small molecules into cells.

Cyntellect is also developing the LEAP platform for high-throughput purification of cells in cell-based assay preparation and bioproduction. (See Inside Bioassays, 10/26/2004)

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