Applied Biosystems to Cut 145 Jobs as Part of Structural Reorganization
Applied Biosystems will be eliminating approximately 145 jobs — about 3.5 percent of its 4,400-person workforce — as part of a structural reorganization plan, the company disclosed in a July 13 US Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
A majority of the layoffs are in R&D, with additional jobs being cut in areas such as sales, manufacturing, and product management, the company said. ABI also said that its Foster City, Calif., headquarters location would be most affected.
The layoffs began with the July 1 start of ABI’s fiscal year 2005, and are related to a structural reorganization in which the company is creating four new business divisions: molecular biology; proteomics and small molecules; applied markets; and service. Each of these divisions will have a dedicated president, product development and advanced manufacturing resources, and product line and marketing management, ABI said.
The restructuring, according to the SEC filing, is expected to be substantially phased in by the end of the current fiscal quarter, Sept. 30.
During its fiscal year 2004, ABI created an advanced research and technology group. According to Lori Murray, an ABI spokesperson, this unit was responsible for seeking out promising technologies from customers and evaluating their viability as potential new products.
To further this initiative, as part of the current restructuring ABI will be forming another new unit to incubate these technologies and attempt to bring them to market, Murray said. This unit is also anticipated to be in place by Sept. 30, she said.
Abbott Labs and Celera Genomics Pen Cancer Therapeutics Development Deal
Abbott Laboratories and Celera Genomics will co-develop therapeutic antibodies and small-molecule drugs against over-expressed cell-surface proteins associated with cancer, the companies said last week.
Celera will contribute a subset of the cell-surface antigens it has identified and validated in its ongoing proteomic studies in a number of solid tumors. Meantime, Abbott will screen the antigens to identify those with potential for subsequent preclinical development.
In the collaboration, the two companies may elect to jointly fund clinical development and commercialization of any therapeutic products and share the financial returns resulting from this, the companies said. Abbott will be responsible for commercializing jointly funded products.
Celera will also receive milestone payments on reaching certain preclinical milestones. Celera retains certain diagnostic rights associated with selected targets.
PamGene Licenses Microarray Platform to Nottingham University
PamGene International has licensed its 3-dimensional, flow-through microarray platform to Nottingham University in England, the company said last week.
According to PamGene, the service license includes the sale of a PamGene 4-array PamStation and will allow the university to develop multiplex amplifiable probe hybridization as a service on the PamGene platform.
Nottingham University will initially use the PamStation for internal MAPH research, and plans to begin offering services through a company to be spun out of the university’s institute of genetics in the near future.
Epigenomics Said to Be Planning 67M euro IPO
Epigenomics is planning an initial public offering this month that could raise as much as €67 million ($83 million), according to news reports last week.
According to a July 3 Bloomberg report, the Berlin-based genomics diagnostic company plans to sell 4.6 million shares for between €11.90 and €14.50 apiece, which could raise between €55 million and €67 million.
An Epigenomics spokeswoman declined to comment when contacted by GenomeWeb News, citing legal requirements that prohibit releasing details of the company’s IPO plans to US news organizations. The Bloomberg piece was written by a reporter in Frankfurt, Germany.
Epigenomics’ stock is scheduled to start trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on July 16, according to Bloomberg.
Toronto Microarray Facility to Use Inforsense Analysis Software
InforSense has signed a software licensing agreement with the Center for Applied Genomics Microarray Facility at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, the company said this week.
The facility has purchased a multi-user, multi-year license for InforSense’s Knowledge Discovery Environment informatics system to analyze data from the Affymetrix GeneChip platform, InforSense said.
Cepheid Taps Gene Company to Distribute Tech in China’s Life Science Market
Cepheid has tapped Gene Company as its distributor in the China and Hong Kong markets, the company said this week.
Cepheid said it signed a non-exclusive, three-year agreement with Gene Company to distribute its SmartCycler Systems, accessories, and reagents across China and Hong Kong. Gene Company is headquartered in Hong Kong and has 18 offices across China. The 250-person company posted $35 million in sales in 2003.
Vitra Bioscience Raises $5.5M in Private Financing
Vitra Bioscience has raised $5.5 million in a second round of financing, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company said this week.
Alta Partners led the investment round with participation from Sofinnova Ventures, Mediphase Venture Partners, and Three Arch Partners. Vitra said it will use the funds to help commercialize its CellCard System and to expand the company’s product offerings.
The CellCard System facilitates parallel screening of multiple cell types for lead identification and optimization in drug discovery.
Orchid Cellmark to Create Genetic Profiles of Felons
Orchid BioSciences has won an exclusive one-year contract by the US National Institute of Justice to create genetic profiles from DNA samples of felons in Illinois.
The more than 100,000 profiles to be created will be added to the FBI’s national Combined DNA Index System, according to Orchid.