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Thermo Electron, Fisher Scientific, Applied Biosystems, Cenix Bioscience, Dresden Technical University, Cellzome, Novartis

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Thermo Electron's Q3 Revenue Climbs 8 Percent; Profits Slide 15 Percent
 
Thermo Electron this week said that third-quarter profit declined 15 percent even as revenues climbed 8 percent.
 
Total receipts for the quarter ended Sept. 30 increased to $725 million from $679 million last year.
 
Thermo Electron said positive revenue growth came from mass spec sales, small molecule research, and increased elemental analysis sales in its Life and Lab Sciences division, which rose 5 percent in the current period to $543 million from $516 million last year.
 
R&D spending in the quarter declined 5.3 percent in the quarter to $38.7 million from $38.8 million year over year.
 
The company said earnings in the quarter declined to $48.8 million from $57.7 million year over year. The company said the decrease in profits “reflects a $.03 impact from stock option expense for rules that became effective this year, and 2005 earnings included a $.10 net gain from the disposal of discontinued businesses.”
 
Thermo had around $158 million in cash, equivalents, and short-term available-for-sale investments as of Sept. 30.
 
Thermo said it expects to post between $2.88 billion and $2.90 billion in revenues this year, which would be between 9 percent and 10 percent stronger than revenues in 2005.
 
Thermo Electron is awaiting clearance from the European Commission to complete its merger with Fisher Scientific. Both companies said they expect to close the deal by Nov. 9.
 

 
Fisher Posts Double-Digit Increase in Q3 Revenues, Profit as it Awaits Thermo Merger
 
Fisher Scientific this week reported a 10.8-percent increase in third-quarter sales and a 62-percent spike in income.
 
For the quarter ended Sept. 30, Fisher posted net sales of $1.51 billion as compared to $1.36 billion for the same quarter in 2005.
 
Net income increased to $152 million from $93.5 million last year.
 
Sales of scientific products and services in the third quarter increased to $1.17 billion, a 9.9 percent increase over the prior-year period, Fisher said.
 
As of Sept. 30, Fisher held $279 million in cash and equivalents.
 
For 2006, Fisher said it expects total sales growth, excluding the effects of foreign exchange, of approximately 10 percent, with organic growth in its core scientific research and healthcare markets of 8 percent.
 

 
ABI to Help Create Proteomics Research Facility in Germany
 
Applied Biosystems, Cenix Bioscience, and the Biotechnology Center of Dresden Technical University will create a joint proteomics research facility in Dresden, Germany, Cenix said this week.
 
The German federal government is supporting the facility with €1.2 million ($1.5 million) grant through its BioChance Plus program.
 
Cenix, which uses RNAi in drug research, said the two-year partnership will pursue MS-based proteomic analysis of RNAi-induced phenotypes.
 
The companies will work with the university to analyze gene function and drug action through cellular phenotyping, working to detect and measure effects of pharmaceutical agents that modulate gene expression on living cells.
 
For the alliance ABI will use its mass spec systems, protein-labeling reagents, gene-expression assays, and RNAi knockdown reagents. The company will also work on the project from its Science Center Europe in Darmstadt, Germany.
 
Cenix said the project will help to overcome current limits of proteome profiling by developing broad, “quantitative surveys of protein levels in RNAi and drug-treated cells using antibody-independent, mass spectrometry-based analyses.”
 

 
Cellzome Extends Target-Discovery Deal With Novartis
 
Cellzome has extended until June 2008 its research agreement with Novartis, the company said this week.
 
Under the terms of the partnership, Cellzome will continue to use its proteomics and pathway mapping experience to identify therapeutic and pharmacological targets to Novartis compounds.
 
Financial details of the arrangement were not disclosed, but Cellzome said there are “compound development options for both companies in exchange for licenses, milestone payments and royalties.”
 
The companies first entered their agreement in 2004 and renewed it last year. In 2005 Novartis made a “substantial equity investment” in the privately held company, Cellzome said.

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.