Thomas Weisel Partners

Thomas Weisel Partners called Thermo Fisher's planned $260 million acquisition of Fermentas a "synergistic tuck-in deal" that "bolsters Thermo's capabilities in the high-growth PCR market."

An investment analyst downgraded the shares to "market perform," citing the current hospital spending environment.

The investment bank upped its estimates for the firm, citing a recent meeting with executives who said that they continue to see a stabilization in end markets.

Helicos said that based on its "improving standalone prospects and current market valuation" that it has disengaged from discussions involving a potential sale of the company.

A Thomas Weisel Partners report found that some researchers do not plan to use the stimulus cash to buy equipment, such as mass specs. Rather, a majority said they would use the cash to hire additional personnel.

Citing the FDA's handling of KRAS testing for anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies, the report asserts that in the near term complex genetic tests such as Oncotype DX should be "performed through CLIA labs, and not held up by slow regulatory processes."

The $10.4 million in additional NIH funding is expected to counteract continuing weakness from other sources of funding for life sciences research. In addition, researchers' spending plans seem to favor diversified firms with significant consumables revenue and diagnostics firms, according to a report.

The $800 million acquisition will strengthen Beckman Coulter's presence in the clinical chemistry market. The firm does not anticipate a change in its current investment grade ratings due to the new debt.

Millipore is betting that the buy, which is expected to close in the next several weeks, will provide its customers a powerful cell biology/protein expression-analysis tool for the benchtop.

Affy aims to target downstream genomic-analysis markets with the products gained through its acquisitions of Panomics and True Materials last year, roll out new genotyping assays on its GeneTitan array platform, and consolidate its manufacturing facilities.

Researchers test gene therapy targeting a different cancer protein in a new trial, the New York Times reports.

Pennsylvania State University researchers found that salivary microRNAs could predict which kids would have longer concussion symptoms, according to NPR.

The Associated Press reports Alex Azar, the new Department of Health and Human Services secretary nominee, made millions of dollars as a pharmaceutical executive.

In PNAS this week: immune profiling of breast cancer, transposable element patterns in rice, and more.