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PerkinElmer, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Invitrogen, Michigan High-Throughput Screening Center, US Department of Health and Human Services, Digilab Genomic Solutions, CyBio, Caliper Life Sciences, CytRx

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PerkinElmer's Q1 Revenues Rise 19 Percent
 
PerkinElmer reported this week a 29 percent increase in first-quarter revenues, led by a nearly 20 percent jump in its Life and Analytical Sciences business.
 
For the three months ended March 30, the Waltham, Mass.-based company reported revenues of $482.3 million, up from $402.9 in the comparable period a year ago. Foreign currency contributed 6 percent to revenue growth during the quarter while acquisitions added another 4 percent, the company said.
 
PerkinElmer’s Life and Analytical Sciences business brought in revenues of $356.6 million compared to $299.5 in the first quarter of 2007. Its Optoelectronics business grew by 21.6 percent to $125.7 million from $103.4.
 
PerkinElmer’s profits soared 36.7 percent to $20.1 million, or $.17 per share, from $14.7 million, or $.12 per share, a year ago.
 
The firm’s R&D spending climbed 4.6 percent to $29.1 million from $27.8 million, while its SG&A costs increased 29.8 percent to $132.1 million from $101.8 million.
 
As of March 30, PerkinElmer had $185.3 million in cash and cash equivalents.
 
The firm forecast second-quarter revenue growth in the mid- to high-teens, with a 10 percent contribution from currency translation and acquisitions.
 

 
Thermo Fisher's Q1 Revenues Rise 9 Percent; Profits Up Sharply
 
Thermo Fisher Scientific this week reported a 9 percent increase in first-quarter revenues, aided by a 4 percent contribution from currency translation, and a 67.7 percent jump in profit year over year.
 
The Waltham, Mass.-based science research products giant, which was formed through the $10.6 billion merger of Thermo Electron and Fisher Scientific in November 2006, reported revenues of $2.55 billion, up from $2.34 billion in the first quarter of 2007. Currency effects and acquisitions combined contributed 5 percent to the total revenue growth.
 
Revenues for Thermo Fisher’s Analytical Technologies segment grew 10 percent year over year to $1.09 billion from $988 million, while revenues for the Laboratory products and Services segment grew 9 percent to $1.57 billion from $1.43 billion.
 
The firm’s R&D costs inched up 3.7 percent to $62 million from $59.8 million, while its SG&A expenses rose 5.9 percent to $541.6 million from $511.2 million.
 
Thermo Fisher posted a first-quarter profit of $233 million, or $.53 per share, compared to net income of $138.9 million, or $.31 per share, in last year’s first quarter.
 
The firm finished the quarter with $734 million in cash and cash equivalents.
 
Thermo Fisher President and CEO Marijn Dekkers said in a statement that as a result of favorable currency translation the company raised its revenue guidance for 2008 to a range of between $10.6 billion and $10.7 billion, which would be 9 percent to 10 percent higher than its fiscal 2007 revenues.
 

 
Invitrogen's Q1 Revenues Climb 13.5 Percent as Profit Nearly Doubles
 
Invitrogen reported this week that its first-quarter revenues rose 13.5 percent and its profit nearly doubled.
 
The Carlsbad, Calif.-based firm brought in revenues of $350.2 million for the three months ended March 31, up from revenues of $308.7 million for the comparable period of 2007. The company noted that organic revenue growth, excluding currency effects and acquisitions, was 7 percent.
 
Revenues for its BioDiscovery unit increased 12.3 percent to $247.3 million from $220.1 million, while sales for its Cell Culture Systems unit rose 16.1 percent to $102.9 million from $88.6 million.
 
BioDiscovery’s organic growth was 7 percent and was driven by increased prices, new product introductions, and improved volumes, particularly in molecular biology products, drug discovery services, and labeling and detection technologies, said CFO David Hoffmeister during the firm’s conference call this week.
 
Cell Systems’ organic growth rate also was 7 percent for the quarter.
 
Invitrogen’s profit for the quarter jumped to $59.7 million, from $1.19 per share, from $30.3 million, or $.62 per share, in the comparable period of 2007.
 
The firm’s R&D expenses rose 11.7 percent to $30.6 million from $27.4 million year over year, while its SG&A costs increased 16.4 percent to $113.7 million from $97.7 million.
 
Invitrogen finished the quarter with $549.1 million in cash and short-term investments.
 
CEO Greg Lucier said during the call that despite the current economic climate, Invitrogen’s end markets continue to be stable. “The large pharma end market is experiencing some challenges at the moment but this has not affected us,” he said.
 
“More significantly, a great deal of development has been shifting to the smaller, more efficient biotech sector … so, any contraction in the pharma market is far outweighed by the robust growth we’re seeing in biotech.”
 
Invitrogen said in a statement that it expects its fiscal 2008 revenues to increase in the high-single digits.
 
In early Wednesday trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Invitrogen were up 6.3 percent at $93.19.
 

 
MHTSC Lands $331K Equipment Grant From HHS
 
The Michigan High-Throughput Screening Center recently received a $331,000 grant to purchase equipment for the US Department of Health and Human Services, the center announced recently.
 
“We will be buying some new liquid-handling robots, and also a plate-reader,” Robert Kilkuskie, senior director of the MHTSC, told CBA News this week. He said that the center has not yet chosen the vendors from which it will purchase the equipment, and declined to elaborate further.
 
The screening lab is a nonprofit, fee-for-service facility that supports public and private research in genomics, proteomics, structural biology, animal models, bioinformatics, antibody technology, and high-throughput screening (see CBA News, 8/10/07).
 
The center offers contract-research lab services without licensing fees or royalties.
 

 
Digilab, CyBio to Collaborate on Automation Platform
 
Digilab Genomic Solutions and German firm CyBio will collaborate on the manufacture and distribution of Digilab’s Hummingbird-Plus instrument, Digilab announced this week.
 
Under the agreement, Houston-based Digilab will supply Hummingbird dispensing heads and cassettes in 92-well and 384-well formats to CyBio, which will manufacture the instrument. The Hummingbird instrument will integrate Digilab’s heads and cassettes with CyBio’s CyBi-Well automation platform.
 
Digilab will be responsible for distributing the Hummingbird-Plus instruments worldwide. The instrument is designed for ultra low-volume range applications, down to 25 nL, said Digilab.
 
In addition, Digilab will license intellectual property related to dispensing heads for use in connection with CyBio’s CyBi-Well vario instrument, and will manufacture and supply CyBio with capillary cassettes for that instrument.
 
The collaboration “takes full advantage of the complementary expertise of our two companies, resulting in more flexible tools and workflow solutions for principally the drug discovery and high-throughput screening markets,” Jennifer Wu, Digilab’s global product manager for genomics and liquid handling systems, said in a statement.
 
Financial terms of the alliance were not disclosed.
 

 
Caliper to Consolidate West Coast R&D Operations in Alameda
 
Caliper Life Sciences plans to consolidate its California operations in order to lower its facility costs and to increase the productivity of its research and development expenses, the company said this week.
 
The move involves laying off around 13 employees and moving around 33 others who are principally engaged in R&D activities from its Mountain View facilities to those in Alameda.
 
The Hopkinton, Mass.-based company expects to incur around $3.7 million in costs associated with the move in 2008, but said it will save around $3.3 million annually once the changes have been fully implemented.
 
Caliper also said it has made several changes to lower general and administrative costs, and it now expects to report in its May 8 first-quarter earnings statement total revenue higher than the mid-point of its projected range of $26.5 million to $29.5 million.
 
The move also will result in roughly $400,000 in employee severance and retention costs in fiscal 2008 and around $2.7 million in facility abandonment charges that will take effect in the third quarter, it said.
 

 
CytRx Scientists Identify Proteins That Amplify Chaperone Response
 
CytRx this week announced that scientists at its San Diego laboratory have discovered a series of compounds that amplify the natural cellular chaperone response to toxic, misfolded proteins in cell culture.
 
Using image-based high-content screening technologies developed in house, CytRx researchers have identified a novel series of compounds that by themselves have shown no effect on normal, unstressed cells in culture, but can amplify the chaperone response in the presence of stress that leads to the generation of toxic, misfolded proteins the company said.
 
As expected, because of the known cytoprotective properties of molecular chaperones, these compounds also significantly protected cultured cells exposed to stress such as heat shock or oxygen and glucose deprivation.

The Scan

Dropped Charges

The US Justice Department has dropped visa fraud charges against five Chinese researchers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

More Kids

The Associated Press says Moderna is expanding its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine study to included additional children and may include even younger children.

PNAS Papers on Rat Clues to Human Migration, Thyroid Cancer, PolyG-DS

In PNAS this week: ancient rat genome analysis gives hints to human migrations, WDR77 gene mutations in thyroid cancer, and more.

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.