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Summit, DRVision, Nikon, Tecan, Beckman Coulter

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Summit Reports Interim Results, Will Meet with FDA
 
Summit this week held a conference call to announce its interim results for the six-month period ended July 31.
 
Steven Lee, Summit’s chief executive officer, said during the call that next month, Summit officials will be meeting with the US Food and Drug Administration. “What we have detected is that the industry is using [zebrafish] so much now, and we have been a big part of that equation, that the FDA has invited us to consult with them next month, and talk seriously about [zebrafish technology’s] positioning within the industry,” he said.
 
Lee went on to say that should the FDA decide to accept zebrafish study data as part of IND submissions, “just this platform itself would create significant value for us, because it would difficult to see who [else] Big Pharma would go to, or even other biotech companies would go to, if it was a recommended set, and certainly if it was a required set, of information.”
 
In a separate announcement, Lee said that Summit has recruited a new chief financial officer, who will be introduced shortly (see Migrations, this issue).  
 
Summit reported revenues in the first half of FY 2008-09 of £0.74 million, down from £1.4 million in the first six months of FY 2007-08.
 
Summit reported a loss for the six-month period of £7.1 million ($11.5 million), compared to £3.7 million for the first half of FY 2007-08. As of July 31, the company had £8.0 million in cash, down from £14.2 million in the year-ago period.
 

 
SVision Changes Name, Partners With Nikon
 
SVision announced this week that it has changed its name to DRVision Technologies and has entered a comprehensive collaboration contract with Nikon.
 
To further the success of this collaboration, Nikon has made an undisclosed equity investment in DRVision.
 
With this collaboration, the software technologies of both companies will be integrated to develop higher value-added products in areas including systemized microscopes and live cell imaging solutions.
 

 
Tecan Adds New Asia Pacific Headquarters in Shanghai
 
Swiss biopharmaceutical supply and research instruments company Tecan held a ribbon-cutting ceremony this week for a new Asia Pacific regional headquarters in Shanghai’s pharmaceutical and life sciences center, the company said.
 
The new office will sell directly to biotech, diagnostic, and pharmaceutical companies in the region, and the company will provide training, warehousing, and other services out of the new branch. The company plans to maintain its operations in Beijing, which it said will continue its “close regional relationships with customers in China.”
 
Tecan also said that it plans to use the same distributor network it had previously to cover the Asia Pacific region.
 
“With a stronger presence and new facilities, we will be able to improve sales coverage, service, and support to all of our customers and partners in the entire Asia Pacific region,” Tecan Group CEO Thomas Bachmann said in a statement.
 

 
Beckman Coulter's Q3 Revenues Climb 13.4 Percent
 
Beckman Coulter reported this week that its third-quarter revenues rose 13.4 percent, while its profits slipped on charges.
 
The firm brought in revenues of $758.8 million for the three months ended Sept. 30, up from $669 million for the third quarter of 2007. Its clinical diagnostics sales increased 13.7 percent to $635.9 million from $559.1 million, and its life sciences sales rose 11.9 percent to $122.9 million from $109.9 million.
 
Within Beckman Coulter’s clinical diagnostics segment, chemistry and clinical automation sales jumped 12.2 percent to $220.4 million, cell analysis product sales increased 14.8 percent to $233.1 million from $203 million, and immunoassay and molecular diagnostics sales rose 14.3 percent to $182.4 million from $159.6 million.
 
“I am encouraged by balanced, above-market revenue growth across all major regions outside the US and diagnostics product areas,” Scott Garrett, chairman, president and CEO of Beckman Coulter, said in a statement.
 
Beckman Coulter posted a profit of $26.1 million, or $.41 per share, versus a profit of $60 million, or $.93 per share, for the third quarter of 2007. This year’s third-quarter results include a $19 million environmental remediation charge related to its Fullerton, Calif., site.
 
In addition, the firm took a $7.8 million restructuring charge during the quarter versus a restructuring charge of $3 million in the comparable period of 2007.
 
Beckman Coulter’s SG&A expenses increased around 15 percent to $209.2 million from $181.5 million, and its R&D spending rose roughly 25 percent to $74.8 million from $59.9 million.
 
The company finished the third quarter with $71.4 million in cash and cash equivalents.
 
Garrett said that based on current exchange rates, the firm expects full-year revenue growth of 12 percent to 13 percent. The company expects FY 2008 EPS of between $3.55 and $3.65.

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