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In Brief This Week: Pacific Biosciences; Life Technologies; Becton Dickinson; Agendia, Nuclea Biotechnologies; SDIX

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Pacific Biosciences this week said that it had expanded its operations into Europe with the hiring of a vice president for the region and announcing its first European customer, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. The single-molecule sequencing firm hired Terry Pizzie to lead the establishment of its European operations. Pizzie previously served as director of global commercial operations for Genetix, which is now owned by Danaher. He also has held management positions at Biacore and Applied Biosystems.

Life Technologies said this week that its new MicroSEQ E. Coli O157:H7 assay has received Performance Tested Methods certification from the AOAC Research Institute for detection of the bacterium strain.

Becton Dickinson has completed the sales of its Ophthalmic Systems unit to RoundTable Healthcare Partners and its surgical blades product platform to Aspen Surgical Products, a portfolio firm of Roundtable. BD said that it expects to record a gain on the sale of these assets in the fourth quarter. For full-year 2010, these businesses were expected to generate revenues of $200 million and account for earnings per share of $.20.

Agendia has opened a new clinical genomics laboratory in Irvine, Calif. The Dutch molecular diagnostics firm previously had its offices and laboratory in nearby Huntington Beach, Calif. The new space has corporate offices and a 15,000-square-foot genomics lab. Agendia said that the increased capacity will support its planned commercial expansion in the US market.

Nuclea Biotechnologies has opened a 3,500-square-foot genomics center in Pittsfield, Mass. The new center will house instruments that the firm uses to determine gene-expression profiles of specific oncology patient sub-populations for use in developing diagnostic tests and therapeutics. The firm also plans to manufacture arrays for use in the analysis of proteins.

SDIX this week reported a 1 percent dip in its second-quarter revenues year over year. The firm, formerly known as Strategic Diagnostics, brought in $6.8 million for the quarter ended June 30, compared to $6.9 million for Q2 2009. Its net loss declined to $215,000, or $.01 per share, from $734,000, or $.00 per share. SDIX finished the quarter with $8.9 million in cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash.

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.