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Cepheid, GE Healthcare and GlaxoSmithKline, GE Healthcare, and Lynx Therapeutics and Solexa


Cepheid Reports Soaring Product Sales in Q3 as Revenue More Than Doubles

Cepheid’s revenues more than doubled during the third quarter, driven by increased product sales, the company reported this week. However, this surge was almost eaten up by soaring costs of product sales, resulting in a slightly reduced net loss.

Cepheid’s revenues for the quarter ended Sept. 30 totaled $14.1 million, up from $5.4 million during the same period last year. This increase was driven largely by sales related to the United States Postal Service Bio-hazard Detection System, and, to a lesser extent, by Life Sciences and Clinical Genetic Assessment products.

R&D expenses increased slightly, to $4 million from $3.8 million during the year-ago quarter.

The company’s net loss for the quarter amounted to $2.9 million, or $.07 per share, down from $3.9 million, or $.11 per share, during the same quarter last year.

As of Sept. 30, Cepheid had $58.2 million in cash and cash equivalents.

GE Healthcare, GlaxoSmithKline agree on Data-Integration Deal

GE Healthcare will help GlaxoSmithKline develop an informatics system to integrate data from internal and external drug-discovery R&D sources, the companies said this week.

Under the deal, GlaxoSmithKline will be able to use GeneticXchange’s DiscoveryHub data- and information-integration software, which GE markets in its genetics, discovery, and pre-clinical-development R&D groups.

Additionally, the deal calls for GE Healthcare and GlaxoSmithKline to design, develop, and support next-generation DiscoveryHub technology.

For additional details about the deal, see this week’s issue of BioInform (see BioInform, 11/1/2004), Pharmacogenomics Reporter’s sister publication.

GE to Launch New CodeLink Assay Within Two Weeks

GE Healthcare will launch its overdue 16-chamber rat ADME assay for the CodeLink platform by the middle of November, Lisa D’Anzi, marketing director for the platform, said last week at the American Society of Human Genetics 54th annual meeting.

“The assay will launch toward the end of next week or the beginning of the following,” pending the completion of last-minute data, said D’Anzi in late October. She made the remarks following a GE Healthcare-sponsored CodeLink workshop that occurred during the ASHG meeting, held in Toronto, Canada.

BioArray News (see BioArray News, 6/2/2004), Pharmacogenomics Reporter’s sister publication, reported in early June that the company originally intended to introduce the ADME-Rat 16 assay within 60 to 90 days — that is, before September.

The assay was to be the first produced for the CodeLink platform after GE Healthcare acquired Amersham (see GenomeWeb, 4/8/2004) in April. Instead, the whole mouse genome assay, which launches next week, will become the platform’s first. D’Anzi said GE Healthcare was “already selling” whole mouse genome assays.

Lynx, In Worse Shape Than Previously Thought, Gets More Cash From Solexa

Solexa will pour additional cash into Lynx Therapeutics in an attempt to speed the development of new sequencing technologies in time for their merger, the firms said last week.

For Lynx, the merger — and especially the additional cash infusion — appears to be its only lifeline. The floundering gene expression-analysis company said that its independent auditor, Ernst & Young, recently raised “substantial doubts” about its ability to stay solvent. Lynx said it reported this announcement to the US Securities and Exchange Commission in an amended filing to its 2003 year-end earning report.

In a paragraph attached to the amended report, Lynx said the company’s “losses since inception, including a net loss for the six months ended June 30 ...” [indicates that the company] “will require additional funding to continue its business activities through at least December 31, 2005 and raises substantial doubt as to Lynx’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

Lynx has pocketed at least $2.5 million from Solexa as part of the companies’ merger agreement, disclosed in August. Last week’s announcement means Solexa will give Lynx up to an additional $500,000 to help it “accelerate development of ... [a new] DNA sequencing instrument.”

“The intent of this [new funding] is to accelerate the integration of both companies’ technologies prior to completing” the merger, the firms said in a statement.

Lynx and Solexa signed a definitive merger agreement in September. As part of the merger, which is expected to be completed later this year, Lynx will issue up to 29.5 million shares in exchange for all of the outstanding shares and share options of Solexa. The combined company will continue to operate both in the US and in the UK, and will trade on the Nasdaq SmallCap Market under the ticker symbol LYNX.

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