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Genomic Solutions, GeneMachines, Gene Express, Orchid Biosciences, Sequenom, EGeen International, Lynx Therapeutics, Genome Therapeutics

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Genomic Solutions to Buy GeneMachines for $8.3M

Genomic Solutions said earlier this week it will acquire genomic-tool company GeneMachines for around $8.3 million in cash.

The acquisition is expected to close in mid-March and is subject to the approval of GeneMachines’ shareholders. According to Genomic Solutions’ parent Harvard Bioscience, enough GeneMachines shareholders have already agreed to vote for the acquisition.

GeneMachines develops and distributes high-throughput instrumentation for DNA and protein-microarray production, nucleic acid-sample preparation, and DNA synthesis.


Gene Express Secures $1M Technology Grant

Gene expression-analysis firm Gene Express pock-eted a $1 million technology commercialization grant from the state of Ohio, the company said last week.

The company will use the grant, awarded as part of $12.2 million the state bestowed under its “Third Frontier” technology initiative in February, to commercialize services and reagents for the its Start-PCR gene-expression technology

Ohio’s Third Frontier project is a 10-year, $1.6 billion plan that aims at creating new jobs by supporting high-tech startup companies in the state.

Gene Express is based in Toledo, Ohio.


Orchid Reports Slight Jump in Q4 Revenue, Widened Net Loss

Orchid Biosciences last week reported a slight increase in fourth-quarter revenue amid swelling overall expenses and a doubled net loss. The company also said it is “committed” to selling its diagnostics unit, and has excluded that business’ revenue from total fourth-quarter receipts [see accompanying story, page 1].

Total revenue for the period ended Dec. 31 increased to $13.0 million from $10.9 million for the same quarter one year earlier, Orchid said. The increase resulted primarily from growth in the company’s forensics, paternity, and public health-genoprofiling businesses, which grew to $10.9 million in the quarter from $7.6 million year over year, and from the addition of Lifecodes in December 2001. However, fourth-quarter receipts do not include the $2.1 million generated by Orchid’s Diagnostics group, which the company plans to sell over the next three months.

Fourth-quarter spending swelled to $39.5 million from $28.0 million during the same period last year, due to a $17.4 million restructuring cost. However, R&D spending was the only direct expenditure to have bucked the trend, falling to nearly $3 million from $8 million year over year, Orchid said.

As a result, net loss in the quarter increased to $35 million, or $.50 per share, from $17 million, or $.41 per share, for the same quarter one year ago.

Orchid said it had roughly $13.4 million in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments as of Dec. 31.


Sequenom Sees Dip in Q4 Revenues Amid Surge in Expenses, Net Losses

Sequenom last week reported a slight fall-off in revenues for the fourth quarter along with increased expenses and a widened net loss.

Revenue for the period ended Dec. 31 fell to $7.7 million from $9.3 million for the fourth quarter 2001, the company said. Sequenom attributed the bulk of its revenues to sales of its MassArray genotyping systems and consumables.

R&D spending was down slightly for the quarter, at $8.1 million compared to $8.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2001. Overall spending, however, ballooned to $53.9 million in the fourth quarter 2002 from $23.5 million year over year.

Net loss for the fourth quarter also swelled to $45.8 million, or $1.16 per share, from $12.5 million, or $.33 per share, for the same period last year.

The company held cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments totaling $102.6 million as of Dec. 31.


EGeen, Prediction Sciences Pen Pharmacogenomics Pact

Estonian genotyping company EGeen International and Prediction Sciences plan to co-develop a diagnostic tool that can be used to help predict patient response to certain hypertension drugs.

Terms of the agreement call for Prediction Sciences to use its bioinformatics algorithms to compare patient chart information and SNP profiles with treatment outcomes. Egeen, meantime, will bring to the table its genotyping technology and drug-response data based on samples from the Estonian Genome Project.

If successful, the collaboration, which is the third for the companies, will produce a genotyping chip that contains SNP-variation markers that can be used in the clinic as “a predictive indicator of a patient’s likelihood to respond to hypertension treatment,” said Kalev Kask, CEO and co-founder of Egeen.

The research itself will take place at Egeen’s labs in Tartu, Estonia. The Estonian government prohibits EGP samples from leaving the country, according to Kask.


Lynx Therapeutics, Genome Institute of Singapore Pen New Transcriptome Study

Lynx Therapeutics and the Genome Institute of the National University of Singapore today announced a research agreement on a comparative transcriptome study.

The Hayward, Calif.-based company will use its MPSS (massively parallel signature sequencing) technology to generate gene expression profiles from matched samples from human, mouse, and fish tissues. Financial details were not disclosed.


Genome Therapeutics Posts Lower Revenue, Widened Net Loss in Q4

Genome Therapeutics reported today a fall-off in revenues for the fourth quarter along with lower R&D spending and a slightly increased net loss.

The company posted revenues of $5.8 million for the quarter, down from $8.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2001. Research and development expenses for the quarter fell to $7.1 million from $10.5 million in the same period last year.

Total expenses for the quarter fell to $14.5 million from $17.3 million one year ago. Fourth-quarter net loss grew to $8.8 million, or $0.38 per share, from $7.9 million, or $0.35 per share, year over year.

Genome Therapeutics said it had $51 million in cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and marketable securities as of Dec. 31.

 

Filed under

The Scan

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Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.