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Roche and LabCorp, Tm Biosciences, U. of Miami, Illumina, CyVera, CombiMatrix, Molecular Devices, ABI, Labcyte, Abbott, Celera, Genomic Health


LabCorp to Validate Roche's AmpliChip, Help Evaluate Leukemia Microarray

Laboratory Corporation of America will start validating Roche Diagnostics' AmpliChip CYP450 and will help Roche evaluate its research leukemia microarray, which is currently in development, the company said last week.

Roche's AmpliChip CYP450, which is built around Affymetrix's DNA chips, is designed to help physicians select dosing regimens for drugs covering a broad array of conditions, including cardiac diseases, chronic pain, cancer, and common psychiatric disorders.

Its leukemia microarray, which also uses AmpliChip technology, is designed to identify subclasses of leukemia.

Tm Biosciences to Supply CF, Ashkenazi Assays to U. of Miami Research Center

Tm Bioscience will supply the University of Miami with reagents for the school's cystic fibrosis and Ashkenazi Jewish panel gene assays, the company said this week.

The university's John T.Macdonald Foundation Center for Medical Genetics will use Tm's Tag-It ASR(x) reagents in its cystic fibrosis gene assay, which detects multiple mutations associated with CF, and in its Ashkenazi Jewish panel gene assay, which detects gene mutations associated with Tay-Sachs disease, Canavan disease, familial dysautonomia, Gaucher disease, Bloom syndrome, Fanconi anemia, Neimann-Pick disease, and mucolipidosis type IV.

Illumina's Q2 Revenues Increase 38 Percent; CyVera Write-off Fuels Surge in Losses

Illumina this week reported increased revenues and losses for the second quarter of 2005.

Revenues totaled $15.8 million for the quarter, a 38-percent increase over last year's $11.5 million for the same period.

The company's research and development expenses climbed to $7.3 million, up from $5.3 million during the year-ago period.

Illumina's net loss amounted to $18.5 million, or $.46 per share, up from $3.5 million, or $.10 per share, during last year's second quarter. This included a $15.8 million write-off of in-process research and development that Illlumina acquired with CyVera in April.

As of July 3, Illumina had $54.6 million in cash and investments.

Strong CustomArrays Sales Help CombiMatrix's Q2 Revenues More than Double

Acacia Research this week reported increased revenues and slightly increased losses for its CombiMatrix group in the second quarter of 2005.

CombiMatrix's revenues for the quarter were $1.9 million, up 147 percent over $750,000 during the year-ago period. Revenues from sales of the company's CustomArrays contributed $565,000, more than a 10-fold increase year-over-year.

Research and development costs remained flat, at $1.42 million, compared to $1.41 million during the same quarter last year.

CombiMatrix's net loss for the quarter was $3.7 million, slightly up from $3.5 million during the year-ago period. Part of this increase was due to greater costs to fulfill a government contract.

As of June 30, CombiMatrix had $16.2 million in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments.

Molecular Devices' Q2 Revenues Jump 38 Percent, Earnings Climb 48 Percent

Molecular Devices this week reported increased revenues and earnings for the second quarter of 2005.

Revenues for the quarter were $44.5 million, up 38 percent over last year's revenues for the same period, which were $32.2 million.

Research and development expenses rose to $6.3 million, from $4.7 million during the year-ago period.

The firm's net income rose to $3.7 million, or $.22 per share, a 48-percent increase over last year's $2.5 million, or $.17 per share.

As of June 30, Molecular Devices had $12.5 million in cash and cash equivalents.

ABI's Revenues Grow 4 Percent in Q4 FY '05, Core PCR, Mass Spec Slides

Applied Biosystems this week reported increased revenues and earnings for its fourth quarter of fiscal year 2005, which ended June 30.

Revenues for the quarter totaled $478.5 million, up 4 percent over the prior year's revenues of $460.5 million. Broken down by ABI's five product categories, DNA sequencing revenues were $143 million, up 2 percent over last year's quarter; real-time PCR/applied genomics revenues were $140 million, up 16 percent; mass spectrometry revenues were $119 million, down 1 percent; core PCR and DNA synthesis revenues were $46 million, down 7 percent; and revenues from other product lines were $31 million, up 1 percent.

Research and development costs totaled $48.3 million, down from $51.3 million during the year-ago quarter. This decline was due primarily to savings from the integration of the MALDI-TOF product line into the ABI/MDS Sciex Instruments joint venture.

ABI's net income for the fourth fiscal quarter was $71.6 million, or $.35 per share, up from $51.1 million, or $.25 per share, for the year-ago quarter. The current quarter's income includes $21.2 million in tax benefits and reduced court settlement costs.

As of June 30, ABI had $756 million in cash resources.

In addition to reporting its earnings, the company said that its board of directors has authorized the repurchase of up to 10 percent of the outstanding shares of Applera-ABI common stock.

Labcyte Closes $21M Financing; Aims to Expand Presence in Genomics and Proteomics

Labcyte, a privately held liquid-handling equipment provider, said this week that it has closed a $21 million Series C round of financing.

Labcyte said that it will use the funds to "expand the commercial applications of [its] technology in genomics and proteomics."

The company said that in addition to further developing its flagship Echo 550 acoustics-based liquid-handling platform and its Echo 380 auditor technology, it will use the financing to develop an instrument for preparing tissue samples for quantitative imaging by MALDI mass spectrometry that will provide "unique information about the spatial distribution of proteins in a tissue."

Labcyte also said it plans to apply its acoustic technologies in genomics and proteomics "by developing systems for small volume expression and mutation assays."

The financing round was led by Cross Atlantic Partners and included Hambrecht & Quist Capital Management, the Bay Area Equity Fund, and existing investors Abingworth Management, Alloy Ventures, Delphi Ventures, and the Sprout Group.

Abbott and Celera Receive CE Mark for RT-PCR Hepatitis C Test

Abbott and Celera Diagnostics have received CE Mark certification for a real-time PCR test for monitoring hepatitis C viral load in patients, allowing the test to be marked in the European Union, the companies announced last week.

The test, called the Abbot RealTime HCV assay, has been developed for use on the Abbott m2000 system, an automated instrument that uses real-time PCR technology provided by Applied Biosystems.

In June, Abbott and Celera announced CE Mark certification for the Abbot RealTime HIV-1 assay, also developed for use on the m2000 system.

Abbott said additional tests are in development for its m2000 system, including tests for detecting hepatitis B, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.

Genomic Health IPO Will Not Exceed $75M

Redwood City-based Genomic Health said last week that it planned an initial public offering on the Nasdaq exchange of as much as $75 million, according to documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company declined to disclose the number of shares it planned to offer.

The IPO will be managed by JPMorgan and Lehman Brothers, with the assistance of Piper Jaffray, Thomas Weisel Partners, and JMP Securities.

Genomic Health will seek the Nasdaq ticker symbol "GHDX," the documents said.

Filed under

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.