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Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Cepheid, Transgenomic


Decode, Vertex Pen Phamacogenomics Pact

A Decode subsidiary will collect and analyze pharmacogenomics data for a clinical study performed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, the companies said Jan. 31.

The agreement with the unit, Encode, aims at providing Vertex with pharmacogenomics data on therapeutic responses in patients treated with a Vertex drug candidate for psoriasis.

Cepheid Sells Takara Reagents in US, Canada

Cepheid will package and distribute a line of Takara Bio PCR reagents to be used with its SmartCycler and GeneXpert systems, Cepheid said Jan. 30.

In this agreement, Cepheid will be the exclusive distributor of Takara’s OmniMix HS line in North America, and a non-exclusive distributor in Europe and other international markets. Takara Bio, which distributes Cepheid systems in the Asia, will be the exclusive distributor of the reagents in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and China.

OmniMix HS is a dry-formulated version of Takara’s Taq HS, tweaked for use with Cepheid systems. The company plans to introduce one type of the reagent this month and launch the other when Cepheid’s GeneXpert System is formally introduced in the third quarter of this year.

Transgenomic Q4 Revenue Falls, Loss Grows

Transgenomic reported shrunken fourth-quarter revenues atop an increase in R&D spending and a sharp jump in net loss.

For the period ended Dec. 31, Transgenomic said revenue fell to $9.2 million from $10.7 million in the comparable period last year. Though instrument sales increased by 45 percent, the increase was “offset” by a drop-off in sales of synthetic nucleic acids.

R&D spending increased to $3.3 million in the fourth quarter from $2.9 million year over year. Transgenomic also absorbed a $3.3 million restructuring charge in the fourth quarter after laying off 80 staffers.

Consequently, net loss surged to $9.3 million, or $.40 per share, from $2.7 million, or $.12 per share, in the same period one year ago. Excluding the charge, triggered after 80 staffers were laid off, the company would have posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $5.7 million, or $.24 per share.

Transgenomic said it had roughly $13.3 million in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments as of Dec. 31. Saying he is concerned with the fact that his company has little cash on hand, and is in a rough market, CEO Collin D’Silva said Transgenomic “is exploring a number of business financing options, should they become necessary.”


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