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Ciphergen, Orchid BioSciences, BioMrieux, Cepheid, Lynx Therapeutics, Exiqon, ViaLogy, Myriad genetics, Abbott Laboratory, Pfizer, Perlegen

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Ciphergen Said Q4 Revenue will be $3M Below Original Forecast

Ciphergen Biosystems’ fourth-quarter revenues will fall short of prior forecasts by approximately $3 million, the company said last week.

Total receipts for the period ended Dec. 31 will be in the range of $15 million to $15.5 million, not $19 million as previously expected, Ciphergen said. Revenue for the year is slated to come in at $58.5 million, a 50 percent year-over-year increase.

The company attributed the shortfall to lackluster sales of its ProteinChip systems in the United States. “A significant number of specific orders that we were anticipating near the end of the quarter did not materialize, although many of these we expect to carry forward to the first quarter,” William Rich, Ciphergen’s CEO, said in a statement.

“We attribute the delays in orders to several factors, of which the most significant was increased indirect competition from centralized core proteomics facilities, as many such labs are attempting to provide biomarker discovery services to potential laboratory customers of ours. The entry of more direct competition resulted in a longer sales cycle at certain accounts, and we continued to experience delays from NIH and related funding sources.”

The company said it plans to report its fourth quarter results on Feb. 12, and that its revenue estimates could change before that time.


Orchid Wins $2.7M Forensic DNA Testing Contract from LAPD

Orchid BioSciences unit Orchid Cellmark has won a contract to conduct forensic DNA analyses for the Los Angeles Police Department, the company said this week.

Under the terms of the three-year, $2.7 million deal, Orchid will test DNA from new and backlogged cases.

Orchid Cellmark has conducted DNA analyses for the LAPD and the Los Angeles District Attorney for 15 years. It provides similar services to hundreds of US police departments and criminal justice agencies.


BioMérieux to Incorporate Cepheid’s Platform in Molecular Diagnostics

BioMérieux plans to develop molecular diagnostics systems using Cepheid’s platform technologies, the companies said this week.

The testing units will combine BioMérieux’s Nucleic Acid Sequence-Based Amplification technology and Cepheid’s Smart Cycler and GeneXpert platforms.

BioMérieux will pay Cepheid $15 million in upfront and milestone payments, including a $2 million option payment received in October 2003. Cepheid will also receive payments from product purchases and royalties.


Lynx Closes $4 Million Private Stock Placement

Lynx Therapeutics has completed a $4 million private financing of common stock and warrants for common stock, the company said last week.

The financing included the sale of 800,000 newly issued shares at $5 per share, and the issuance of warrants to purchase 200,000 shares of common stock at an exercise price of $6.25 per share.

Kevin Corcoran, Lynx’s president and CEO, said the company plans to use the financing to expand the commercial usage of its Massively Parallel Signature Sequencing technology.

Lynx completed a $3 million common stock placement in September.


Exiqon, Integrated DNA Technologies Ink Locked Nucleic Acid Licensing Deal

Denmark’s Exiqon has licensed certain rights to its locked nucleic acid technology to Integrated DNA Technologies, the companies said last week.

Under the terms of the deal, IDT has non-exclusive rights to manufacture and sell locked nucleic acid oligonucleotides to the genomics research market, and will receive access to certain Exiqon know-how related to the technology.

According to the companies, a locked nucleic acid is a proprietary nucleic acid analog that is easily incorporated into synthetic DNA oligos. Locked nucleic acid probes, they added, have successfully been used in both RT-PCR-based expression profiling and SNP genotyping assays, as well as in expression microarrays and siRNA oligos for target validation.


ViaLogy Expands Patent Portfolio Into Biomarker Identification

Active signal processing software firm ViaLogy has been issued a patent that extends its Quantum Resonance Interferometry technology into the area of biomarker identification.

The US patent, No. 6,671,625, “Method and system for signal detection in arrayed instrumentation based on quantum resonance interferometry,” covers the use of QRI in protein arrays, and “broadens applications of QRI to proteomics, pathway optimization, high-throughput screening, cellular assays, and time-based dosing studies by gene expression,” according to the company.

ViaLogy has already been issued three US patents — numbers 6,245,511; 6,142,681; and 6,136,541 — that cover the use of QRI for hybridized biochip and DNA microarray patterns, including diagnostic applications.


Myriad Genetics, Abbott LaboratoryPen Pharmacogenomics Collaboration

Myriad Genetics and Abbott Laboratories plan to look for genetic variations within the general population around drug targets in variuous stages of development.

Myriad will provide its high-throughput sequencing technologies and mutation screening software to analyze samples from various populations to identify genetic polymorphisms.


Pfizer, Perlegen Ink SNP Collaboration

Perlegen Sciences and Pfizer hope to identify genetic markers for metabolic syndrome, Perlegen said today. Perlegen will use its genotyping technology to analyze thousands of patient samples for SNPs associated with metabolic syndrome. Pfizer will provide Perlegen with research funding and milestone payments and license the technology. The companies will share any therapeutic and diagnostic rights resulting from the collaboration.

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