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Genomic Health, Roche Dx, Transgenomic, Fiuotecnica, Genizon, Pfizer, BTF, European Union, Molecular Devices

Genomic Health Reports Higher Revenues, Lower Net Loss In 2006
Genomic Health reported this week that its total revenues for the fourth quarter increased to $8.6 million compared to $1.9 million during the same period in 2005.
Total revenue for the year ended December 31, 2006 increased to $29.2 million versus $5.2 million in 2005.
Product revenue from Oncotype Dx, driven largely by increased adoption and reimbursement, was $8.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2006 compared to $1.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2005. For the full year, total revenue for Oncotype Dx was $27.0 million compared to $4.8 million in 2005.
Net loss for the year ended December 31, 2006 was $28.9 million compared to $31.4 million in 2005. For the fourth quarter, net loss was $9.0 million compared to $8.2 million in the year-ago quarter.
The company increased its R&D investment in 2006 by 35 percent to $12.8 million. Selling and marketing expenses, including general administrative costs, also increased to $37.4 million in 2006 from $21.8 million the previous year.
Additionally, the company reported that at the end of 2006, it had cash and cash equivalents and investments of $44.2 million, of which $14.9 million was in cash and cash equivalents.
For the year ending Dec. 31, 2007, Genomic Health forecasted revenues between $57 million to $63 million, and a net loss between $27 million to $30 million.

Roche Dx Attributes Lower Operating Profit in 2006 to New Product Launches
Roche’s diagnostics division posted sales of 8.7 billion Swiss francs ($7 billion), marking a 5 percent growth in 2006, the company reported this week.
However, for the year ending Dec. 31, 2006, the division’s operating profit declined 21 percent to 1.4 billion Swiss francs ($1.1 billion.) “As anticipated, divisional operating profit decline[ed] as a result of investments in new product launches, impairment charges on intangible assets and lower royalty income from licenses in the molecular diagnostics segment,” the company said in a statement.
The company’s viral load tests for HIV and hepatitis B and C virus “drove product sales and helped Roche Molecular Diagnostics to maintain its market share in Europe,” Roche said.
Roche said it is preparing to submit its marketing application for the Cobas TaqScreen MPX multiplex test for HIV, HCV and HBV, and a West Nile Virus test on its Cobas S201 system to the FDA in 2007.
Last year, additional large US laboratories signed on to offer the AmpliChip CYP450 Test. The company did not disclose the names of the specific labs. Roche said it is preparing to submit filings to the FDA in the first half of 2007 to detect and genotype strains of human papillomavirus, a risk factor for cervical cancer.
The company noted that its diagnostics arm “remained the global leader in 2006,” with a market share of 19 percent.
In 2006, the diagnostics division invested 700 million Swiss francs ($564 million) in R&D, which amounts to 8 percent of its sales. “The molecular diagnostics, immunochemistry and diabetes care businesses accounted for the largest shares of expenditure,” Roche said.

Italian Dx Shop to Use Transgenomic’s Wave Tech to Develop Heart Disease Assay
Transgenomic this week said that Italian molecular diagnostic shop Fiuotecnica will use its Wave technology to develop and market a genetic assay panel to predict the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.
Fiuotecnica will retain rights to market the panel in Italy and Transgenomic will obtain rights to market it in the rest of the world.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Genizon Receives $8.5M in Financing from Pfizer, BTF
Genizon announced this week it has raised CA$10 million ($8.5 million) in series D equity financing from Pfizer and Dutch venture capital company BTF.
Pfizer’s investment is related to a licensing agreement it signed with Genizon in mid-January. At the time, Genizon said that Pfizer had taken an equity stake in the firm, but it did not disclose the amount of the investment.  
CFO Henry Bretecher told Pharmacogenomics Reporter’s sister publication GenomeWeb News that the breakdown in investment was “roughly half and half” between Pfizer and BTF.
BTF has been an investor in Genizon, formerly called Galileo Genomics, since 2001, when it participated in a $16.5 million financing round. BTF also participated in the company’s $5.2 million round in 2003.

EU Sets Aside $650K to Hold Five Genomics Conferences in Europe
The European Union has granted €500,000 ($650,000) to fund a series of conferences this year about genomics and disease, the Cancer Research Center at the University of Edinburgh said last week.
The funding will be used by the Marie Curie Genomic Architecture in Relation to Disease program to hold three conferences and two workshops on genomics and disease issues.
  • The CRC said the events will consider how data from studies such as large-scale SNP projects and large-scale DNA-sequencing analysis and fields such as bioinformatics are used in an interdisciplinary manner in disease research. 
  • The “Molecular Profiling of the Genome” conference will be held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, May 2-5;
  • The “Interplay Between Genetics and Epigenetics” conference will be held in Madrid, Spain, May 2-4; 
  • The “Higher Order Genome Architecture” conference will be held in Edinburgh, Scotland, April 25-27; 
  • The “Array Techniques to Identify Copy Number Variations” workshop will be held in Helsinki, Finland, Sept. 11-15; and 
  • The “Genome Bio-informatic Techniques” workshop will be held in Braga, Portugal, Sep. 9-13
  • More information is available at the MCGARD website.  

Molecular Devices Posts Flat Q4 Revenue and R&D Spend as Profit Tumbles 31 Percent
Molecular Devices last week said fourth-quarter revenues remained virtually flat as R&D spending was unchanged and profit decreased 31 percent.
Total receipts for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2006, increased to $52.8 million from $52.7 million year over year.
Molecular Devices did not break out revenues by business unit.
R&D spending was flat at $6.3 million in both quarters.
The company said profit declined to $4 million from $5.8 million in the year-ago period.
Molecular Devices said it had around $22.8 million in cash and equivalents as of Dec. 31.
Last week, MDS said it plans to acquire Molecular Devices for $615 million in cash.

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