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News Scan : Mar 6, 2009

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PerkinElmer Opens Center of Excellence in Singapore

PerkinElmer has opened a second Center of Excellence in Singapore with a focus on life science research, the firm said this past weekend.

The firm said that the CoE, which is located at the A*Star Biopolis research complex, follows the opening last year of its Singapore CoE for environmental, food, materials, and oil applications.

PerkinElmer said the new CoE would have the company's instruments, software, and reagents for use by biotech, pharmaceutical, and academic customers in scientific workshops, demonstrations, and customer support and training. The center's technologies will focus on automation and detection, cellular imaging and analysis, and drug discovery and research reagents. The CoE also will provide classes on techniques for assay development.

The center will serve as a training facility for life science researchers throughout the Pacific Rim. It will be operated by PerkinElmer's Bio-discovery business unit.


BioFocus' 2008 Revenues Increase 16 Percent

BioFocus DPI, the drug discovery products and services division of Belgian firm Galapagos, brought in revenues of €56.4 million ($71.7 million) for full-year 2008, the firm announced this week.

The division's revenues were up 16 percent from the year before and included €10.9 million from inter-company revenues eliminated in a consolidation of operations.

BioFocus' profit for 2008 was €3.4 million compared to a loss of €3.9 million in 2007.

Overall, Galapagos' revenues rose 17 percent to €77 million for 2008. Its net loss declined 33 percent to €14.6 million, or €.69 per share, from €21.9 million, or €1.06 per share, for 2007. The firm said the results include a €2.6 million charge related to the divestiture of BioFocus' San Diego operations. But it also included a €4.1 million tax credit associated with its operations in Paris.


Tecan, GE Healthcare Collaborate on Process Development

GE Healthcare and Tecan have signed a marketing collaboration under which process developers will be able to implement protocols and accessories for GE Healthcare's PreDictor 96-well plates on Tecan's Freedom EVO workstations.

The firms said that the predefined protocols and scripts for using GE Healthcare's PreDictor 96-well plates are now embedded in the EVOware software that serves as the control for Tecan's Freedom EVO workstations.

"The combination of GE Healthcare's chemistry and Tecan's hardware will provide our customers with a rapid and efficient method of screening process parameters, with minimal hands-on time," Eric Willimann, marketing manager of protein science at Tecan, said in a statement.

Further terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.

The Scan

Gap in COVAX Doses

BBC News reports that COVAX is experiencing a vaccine shortfall, as the Serum Institute of India has paused exports.

Sanofi, GSK Report Promising Results

The Wall Street Journal reports that the candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccine from Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline has had encouraging early results.

Influence of Luck

The New York Times examines how the US avoided variant-fueled increases in COVID-19 cases.

PLOS Papers on Retina GWAS, Hantaan Virus, COVID-19 Phenome-Wide Association Study

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of retinal morphology, analysis of hantaan virus found in a mouse, and more.