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Applied Biosystems, Celera Diagnostics, Illumina, Merck, DeCode Genetics, Roche Diagnostics


ABI Posts Fallen Revenue in Fiscal Q1; PCR, DNA Synthesis Line Grows

Applied Biosystems said revenues for its fiscal first quarter 2004 fell to $382.7 million from $395.9 million in the same period one year ago. However, receipts from core DNA synthesis and PCR products inched up 4 percent to $51.2 million in the first quarter 2004 from $49 million year over year.

R&D spending for the three months ended Sept. 30 was reduced to $59.6 million from $61 million in the year-ago quarter. Consequently, net income surged to $33.4 million, or $.16 per share, from $17.8 million, or $.16 per share, one year ago.

ABI said the growth in its DNA synthesis and PCR arms was due to increased sales of the Assays-on-Demand and Assays-by-Design product line. The company said the growth was "partially offset" in this category because $3.9 million in sales of Celera Diagnostics products have been shifted to Abbott Labs.

ABI reiterated its forecast for single-digit growth for fiscal 2004 revenue growth, and said the growth will likely appear in the second half of the year as new products are released. It does not expect any "significant change" in the revenue levels for DNA synthesis or PCR business in fiscal 2004.

Celera Dx Reports Strong Revenue Growth in Fiscal Q1

Celera Diagnostics, the Applied Biosystems and Celera Genomics joint venture, said total revenues for the fiscal first quarter 2004 jumped to $8.5 million from $3 million one year ago. The company attributed the growth to increased sales of its cystic fibrosis analyte-specific reagents.

R&D spending also increased, however modestly, to $12.4 million from $11.1 million in the fiscal first quarter 2003. Net loss for the JV fell to $12 million in the first quarter 2004 from $13.3 million year over year.

The company said that sales of products manufactured by it and sold by Abbott Labs increased in the first quarter 2004 to $9.1 million from $3.9 million.

Celera Diagnostics president Kathy Ordonez said the company plans to release data from "at least" two more disease-association studies by the end of the calendar year. The company currently has disease-association studies in the fields of arthritis, breast cancer metastasis, Alzheimer's disease, interferon responsiveness, an undisclosed metabolic disease, and a quartet of cardiovascular diseases.

Illumina Posts Q3 Revenue Growth; R&D, Loss Trimmed

Illumina last week posted a dramatic increase in third-quarter revenues atop fallen R&D expenditures and narrowed net loss.

Total revenue for the period ended Sept. 28 increased to $8.2 million from $3 million one year ago. Product sales, which increased to $6.5 million in the current third quarter from $1.3 million in the year-ago period, made up the brunt of total revenues. Receipts from services in the quarter remained relatively flat at around $1 million.

R&D spending in the quarter fell to $5.1 million from $6.4 million in the third quarter 2002. Consequently, net loss narrowed to $5.5 million, or $.17 per share, from $7.6 million, or $.24 per share, year over year. The company said it had around $51.2 million in cash and investments as of Sept. 28.

Celera Diagnostics, Merck Pen PGx Research Pact

Celera Diagnostics has formed a research collaboration with Rosetta Inpharmatics, and its parent company Merck, to identify and validate genetic markers that can be used to develop tests and treatments for certain cancers.

Under the arrangement, Celera Diagnostics will have access to certain Rosetta gene-expression data and intellectual property, and Merck will have access to certain research data from Celera Diagnostics that can be applied toward cancer drug development. The partnership is initally focused on breast cancer, but may be expanded to include other malignancies.  Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.

DeCode, Roche Dx Identify Mutations Linked to MI in Icelandic Individuals

DeCode Genetics and Roche Diagnostics have identified forms of a gene that “confer approximately twice the average risk of myocardial infarction” as is found in the general population. The firms plan to use these data to develop a DNA-based test to identify individuals who are at increased risk for MI.

DeCode researchers mapped the gene through a genome-wide linkage study of 2,000 Icelandic patients and their unaffected relatives. They then sequenced it and conducted an association analysis of patients and unrelated controls using more than 1,000 SNPs in that locus.

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