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The partners will develop new mass spec applications and instrumentation.

Despite the gyrations on Wall Street, the stocks of the largest mass spectrometer manufacturers rose an average of almost 48 percent for the first half of 2009, according to ProteoMonitor's sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News.

Leerink Swann upped its revenue estimates for 2009 and stock valuations for both firms.

Bruker filed a shelf registration on behalf of the firm and members of the Laukien family, who may sell up to 35 million shares of their common stock holdings.

The system, called Lucid Proteomics, combining Bio-Rad's SELDI-based array technology with Bruker's ultrafleXtreme MALDI-TOF/TOF instrument, is expected to hit the market in late summer or early fall, and is the first fruit of a co-marketing and co-development collaboration between the two firms announced a month ago.

The anticipated weak mass-spec market has not stopped vendors from launching new instruments, which may pay off later in the year when spending from the economic stimulus package could hit instrument manufacturers.

According to CEO Frank Laukien mass-spectrometry sales rose in the double digits for the quarter "driven by the compelling capabilities of our high-performance products."

CEOs at four of the five leading mass spec firms saw their total compensation dip last year, according to information provided in their proxy statements, with Bill Sullivan at Agilent taking the biggest hit, a 39 percent drop from his 2007 earnings. Meanwhile, Frank Laukien at Bruker received an 80 percent upgrade in 2008.

In a competitive field where deals linking two mass-spec technologies from different vendors are unusual, the partnership could help Bio-Rad make relevant a technology that has failed to capture the interest of the research community.

While Pittcon historically has been the venue of choice for debuting new proteomics tools, major vendors this year focused on applied markets, earlier instrument launches, and the newly cash-rich NIH.

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