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Summit, Evolva, PerkinElmer, Thermo Fisher, Gov. Deval Patrick

Summit and Evolva Ink Deal to Develop New Antimicrobials
Summit, formerly VASTox, announced this week that it has signed a three-year collaborative agreement with Basel, Switzerland-based Evolva Biotech to develop new drugs for infectious diseases.
The collaboration covers Oxford, UK-based Summit’s immunomodulator drug candidate SMT14400 (formerly VOX 14400) and backup compounds from the company’s proprietary imino sugar library.
Evolva and Summit will work together to develop clinical-stage compounds that show efficacy against viruses and bacteria relating specifically to biodefense targets such as anthrax, ebola, and other infectious diseases such as AIDS and influenza.
Under the terms of the agreement, the parties will make an initial co-investment of $1 million. In addition, Summit and Evolva will make a further co-investment in excess of $10 million over the next three years, with both parties working together on a 50/50 basis to further develop SMT14400 in the area of infectious diseases. Summit will continue the development of SMT14400 in the areas of oncology and allergy.

PerkinElmer Reports Q2 Earnings
PerkinElmer this week reported that second-quarter revenues increased 16 percent, while R&D spending was up 9 percent and profit jumped 38 percent.
Total receipts for the three months ended July 1 increased to $437.3 million from $377 million year over year, PerkinElmer said.
Revenue for the company’s Life and Analytical Sciences business was up 17 percent to $326.3 million and Optoelectronics revenue grew 13 percent to $111 million year over year.
R&D spending in the quarter increased to $27.3 million from $25 million year over year.
PerkinElmer said profit rose to $33.7 million from $24.5 million in the year-ago period.
PerkinElmer had around $150 million in cash and cash equivalents as of July 1.

Thermo Fisher Records Mighty Q2 Revenue, Profit Growth
Thermo Fisher Scientific this week said second-quarter revenues increased 236 percent as R&D spending rose 44 percent and profit increased over 240 percent.
Total receipts for the three months ended June 30 increased to $2.4 billion from $714 million year over year. Last year's results reflect Thermo Electron's operations prior to its merger with Fisher Scientific in November. Including both firm's results from last year, second-quarter revenues increased 9 percent year over year.
Thermo said revenue from its Analytical Technologies segment nearly doubled to just over $1 billion, while receipts from the Laboratory Products and Services segment increased to $1.43 billion from $182 million. On a pro forma basis, Analytical Technologies revenue grew 13 percent, while revenue for the Lab Products and Services segment grew 6 percent.
“We've now delivered three strong quarters as Thermo Fisher Scientific, clearly demonstrating that we are successfully operating as one company,” CEO Marijn Dekkers said in a statement.
Dekkers attributed the growth to strong demand for new products, “healthy end markets and our combined operating discipline.”
R&D spending increased to $58.7 million from $40.7 million in the second quarter of 2006.
The company said profit rose to $164 million from $48 million in the year-ago period.
Thermo Fisher said it had around $951 million in cash and cash equivalents and $22.7 million in short-term investments as of June 30.
Dekkers said the company is increasing its revenue guidance to a range of $9.5 billion to $9.55 billion for 2007, from the $9.4 billion to $9.5 billion previously announced.

Mass. Governor Submits $1B Life Sciences-Improvement Bill
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick last week submitted a bill to the legislature that aims to spend $1 billion over 10 years to grow the state’s life-sciences sector.
The bill would also use tax incentives and investment funds to entice businesses to locate in the state, and fund the creation of an RNAi center to “highlight and build on the work” of Nobel Prize-winning researcher and RNAi pioneer Craig Mello, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
According to the bill, the state will spend $500 million on public education and other facilities, and life sciences equipment; $250 million on fellowships, research grants, and workforce training programs; and $250 million on tax subsidies targeted to job creation. The state expects private colleges, institutions and companies to chip in a total of $250 million for capital, fellowships, research grants, and workforce training.
Gov. Patrick’s plan seeks to bolster the state’s Life Sciences Center Board, which would have the authority to “build capital projects, award grants, and expend funds,” as well as determine how the capital on those projects is spent.
The plan also pledges $15 million for the Massachusetts Life Sciences Investment Fund that would back “basic research, small business innovation grants, life science fellowships and workforce training.”
The bill also proposes a 2-percent tax credit for projects located in Economic Opportunity Areas, a redeemable 10-percent, 10-year carry-forward Life Sciences Investment Incentive Tax Credit, and a pass on sales tax for some bricks-and-mortar purchases.

The Scan

mRNA-Based Vaccine on the Way in China

China may soon have its own mRNA-based vaccine, according to Nature News.

Arranged Killing, Fraud Alleged by Prosecutors

The Wall Street Journal reports that prosecutors allege that the co-founder of a biotech arranged to have a business associate who threatened to expose him as a fraud killed.

Whirlwind Decade of CRISPR

The New York Times looks back at the 10 years since the University of California, Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues published their CRISPR paper.

PNAS Papers on Blue Cone Monochromacy Structural Variants, HIV-1 Mutant, T-ALL

In PNAS this week: structural variants linked to blue cone monochromacy, HIV-1 variants affecting the matrix protein p17, and more.