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ABI Posts Increased Revenues in Q2 …

Applied Biosystems this week said that total revenue in its second quarter for fiscal 2004 increased to $458.4 million from $444.7 million for the same period a year ago.

Receipts for its core DNA synthesis and PCR unit stayed flat in the period ended Dec. 31, 2003, at $51.3 million from $51.9 million one year ago.

R&D spending in the quarter inched up to $60.7 million from $59.2 million the year before.

Second-quarter net income swelled to $52.4 million, or $0.25 per share, from $29.2 million, or $0.14 per share, year over year. ABI did not include its assets in its financial statement.


… as Celera Dx Reports Greater Q2 Revenues

Celera Diagnostics said that second-quarter revenues increased to $11 million from $7.8 million for the same period a year ago.

The company spent $10.6 million for R&D and engineering during the quarter, below the $12.6 million the year before.

Celera Diagnostics’ net loss for the quarter amounted to $9.3 million, compared to $9.9 million in the prior-year quarter.


Illumina's Q4 Revenues Surge on Strong Sales, Net Losses Narrow

Illumina said that fourth-quarter revenues surged to $10.7 million from $3.9 million one year ago — which included the first receipts from its newly launched gene-expression product [see 9/18/03 SNPtech Pharmacogenomics Reporter].

Net loss for the period ended Dec. 28 narrowed to $4 million, or $.12 per share, from $7.6 million, or $.24 per share, in the year-ago period.

R&D spending in the fourth quarter fell to $5.5 million from $6.3 million year over year.

As of Dec. 28, 2003, Illumina had cash, investments, and long-term restricted investments worth $45.1 million. Cash and investments alone totaled $32.9 million.


Tepnel Completes Orchid Diagnostics Acquisition; Final Price Falls by $800K

Tepnel has completed its acquisition of Orchid Biosciences’ diagnostics unit, the companies said last week.

However, “changing market conditions” caused Tepnel to shed around $800,000 off the original purchase price, which dropped to $3.5 million from $4.3 million the final price that Tepnel paid for the division, the companies said.

Announced in October 2003, the deal called for Tepnel to acquire the product-and-services business of Orchid Diagnostics facilities in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Belgium. The purchase included the division’s LifeMatch system and consumable product line for HLA testing and Orchid’s Elucigene product line for testing certain genetic diseases, as well as certain liabilities.

Tepnel has taken control of the facilities formerly occupied by Orchid’s diagnostic unit in Stamford, Conn., which will now be called Tepnel Lifecodes, and in Brussels, Belgium, which will now be called Tepnel Diagnostics. Tepnel officials said they intend to retain all of Orchid Diagnostics’ employees.


GeneSeek to Help New Zealand Company Genotype Dairy Cattle

GeneSeek will help New Zealand company A2 Corporation genotype cattle for a gene linked to health problems in humans, the company said last week.

Terms of the agreement call for GeneSeek to genotype dairy cattle for the beta-casein gene, which will enable dairy farmers to select cows for A2 milk production and other A2 dairy products. A2 will sell the resulting milk throughout North America.

According to GeneSeek, A2 Milk is free of the A1 form of the protein beta-casein. Beta-casein A1 is found at varying levels in all cow milk currently sold in the United States, and “has been linked by some researchers to certain health risks,” the companies said.

It’s been a busy month for GeneSeek, which recently announced that it was the company the US Department of Agriculture chose earlier this year to confirm the identity of the cow infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy in the United States last month [see 1/15/04 SNPtech Pharmacogenomics Reporter].

GeneSeek, which is based in Lincoln, Neb., said the USDA asked it to analyze DNA from brain tissue of the infected cow, and during Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, the company analyzed the DNA using an “expanded set” of short tandem repeats. It confirmed the results using Sequenom’s MALDI-TOF-based MassArray platform, according to Daniel Pomp, vice president and CSO of GeneSeek.


R&D Spending Among US-based Biopharmas Will Increase in 2004

US biotech and pharmaceutical companies will spend considerably more on R&D than they did in 2003, according to an anticipated market-survey report.

The survey, which shows that overall R&D spending at US companies is expected to remain flat for the fourth consecutive year, also predicts that spending on life-sciences technologies by the US government and academic centers will rise in 2004.

US-based biotechnology companies will increase spending on R&D programs by 16.4 percent, to $8.1 billion, according to research firm Battelle Memorial Institute and R&D Magazine. Meantime, pharmaceutical companies will increase R&D spending in 2004 by 8.3 percent, to $59.6 billion. The report, which can be read here, is based on data compiled by the US National Science Foundation.

By comparison, total R&D spending for all sectors of the economy will inch up this year to $181.1 billion from $179.6 billion in 2003, the annual report said. The US government is expected to spend 4.8 percent more on R&D, or $89.4 billion, in order to help develop technologies against terrorism, the report said.

On life-sciences and healthcare technologies, the Department of Defense will spend 13 percent more in 2004, or $66.3 billion; the National Institutes of Health will spend 3.2 percent more in the year, or $27 billion; the Department of Energy will increase its spending in 2004 by 6.1 percent, to $8.7 billion; and the National Science Foundation will spend 4.7 percent, or $4.1 billion, more in 2004 than in 2003, the report showed.


Sequenom, UK Health Protection Agency to Analyze Pathogens

Sequenom and the UK-based Health Protection Agency plan to genotype certain microbes, the company said last week.

Using Sequenom’s MassArray technology, the researchers aim to find genetic markers that differentiate pathogenic from nonpathogenic strains of microbes.

Sequenom’s method for pathogen identification and differentiation was published this month in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology in a study entitled “Novel Mass Spectrometry-Based Tool for Genotypic Identification of Mycobacteria.”


EMBL Becomes Customer of Amersham’s CodeLink Platform

Amersham Biosciences has sold a CodeLink microarray platform to the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Amersham said last week.

EMBL’s genomics core facility in Heidelberg will offer gene-expression services based on the technology to EMBL groups and their collaborators. In addition, EMBL and Amersham will jointly organize training and access to the platform. An EMBL developmental biology research group has already been using CodeLink microarrays to study gene expression in mice, according to Amersham.

According to the EMBL website, its core facility is also offering services using Affymetrix’s gene expression platform.


Digene Signs Deal with Quest For Routine HPV DNA Testing

Quest Diagnostics will market Digene’s DNA-based test for human papillomavirus for the next three years, Digene said this week.

The test will be offered to physicians for routine cervical cancer screening in conjunction with the Pap test; Quest previously provided it to physicians only for follow-up evaluation of ambiguous Pap test results.

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