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Gene Logic, Tripos, BioWisdom, Corpora, ISB, PNNL, Jubilant Biosys, Ariadne Genomics, Genomatica


Gene Logic Posts Uptick in Database Revenues for Q1 2004

Gene Logic last week reported an increase in revenues and slightly narrowed losses for the first quarter of 2004 last week.

The company’s consolidated total revenue for the quarter increased 59 percent, to $20.2 million, compared to $12.7 million in the first quarter of 2003. This increase included additional contract study services revenue related to the acquisition of Gene Logic Laboratories (formerly TherImmune Research) after the first quarter in 2003, but also reflects an 8 percent increase in the company’s information services revenue, which was $13.8 million for the first quarter of 2004, compared to $12.7 million in the first quarter of 2003.

Gene Logic said that this increase in revenue reflects approximately $3.2 million in additional revenue from new and existing customers, partially offset by the absence of $2.2 million from “terminated contracts or contracts that have been reduced in scope, primarily with smaller customers.”

Revenue from contract study services was $6.4 million for the first quarter of 2004 — approximately 12 percent higher than that reported by TherImmune in the prior-year period, Gene Logic said.

In a conference call to discuss the company’s financial results, Gene Logic CEO Mark Gessler said that the information business around Gene Logic’s BioExpress, Ascenta, and related services “is a profitable area for our business, and has remained so for the last number of quarters.” The company’s ToxExpress information service, however, “remains an investment area, but an important investment area. It lies at the heart of what the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry are looking for in terms of new ways to innovate and improve costs and efficiencies,” Gessler said.

Gene Logic’s net loss for the first quarter of 2004 was $5.5 million, or $0.18 per share, compared to $5.8 million or $0.21 per share, for the first quarter last year.

Gene Logic’s R&D spending decreased year-over-year, to $362,000 in the first quarter of 2004 from $597,000 in the first quarter of 2003.

As of March 31, 2004, Gene Logic said it had approximately $110.8 million in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities available for sale. Cash and cash equivalents made up $53.7 million of this amount.

Tripos Sees Decline in Informatics Revenues

Tripos last week reported an overall revenue increase for the first quarter of 2004, accompanied by a deline in revenues for its informatics products.

The company posted revenues of $15.5 million, a 13 percent increase over the previous year’s first quarter revenues of $13.7 million.

Revenues for the company’s software products and informatics services were down slightly, however. Tripos posted $6.0 million in revenues for its software products in the quarter, down from $6.1 million in the prior-year period, and discovery informatics services revenue of $715,000 in the first quarter of 2004, compared to $1.4 million in the same period of 2003.

Tripos reported a net loss of $25,000 for the quarter, compared to net income of $370,000 for the first quarter of 2003.

R&D spending was down slightly, to $2.8 million in the first quarter of 2004 from $3.0 million in the same period of 2003.

The company had cash and cash equivalents of $6.5 million as of March 31, 2004, compared to $2.9 million on Dec. 31, 2003.

Tripos added that Ernst & Young has resigned as its auditor, and noted that “there are no disagreements between the company and Ernst & Young on any matter of accounting principles or practices, financial statement disclosure, or auditing scope or procedure.” The company said it has begun a search for a replacement auditor.

BioWisdom Partners with Corpora Software

BioWisdom last week said that it has become an authorized reseller of Corpora Software’s document navigation application, Jump!, which enables users to jump around within and between multiple documents.

BioWisdom will also use Jump! internally as part of the ongoing creation and development of its Sofia biomedical ontology.

The companies are targeting the pharmaceutical market for the joint product solution.

ISB, PNNL Team on Systems Biology, Protein Structure Prediction

The Institute for Systems Biology and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have formed a joint program in systems biology that will “focus on expanding and strengthening technical capabilities of each organization in systems biology and related areas.”

In a statement, ISB president Leroy Hood cited PNNL’s “enormous technical and computational capabilities” as key assets in the collaboration.

Program goals include improving computational abilities to measure and predict complex cell behavior. One area of collaboration, according to Steven Wiley, chief scientist and director of the Biomolecular Systems Initiative at PNNL, will be “computational approaches to predicting protein structure.” An ISB computational model for protein folding is already being run on PNNL’s 8.6-teraflop Hewlett-Packard supercomputer, Wiley said.

Genstruct Licenses Jubilant’s PathArt, Ariadne’s MedScan TextMiner

Genstruct has licensed the PathArt database of curated pathway information from Jubilant Biosys, as well as Ariadne Genomics’ MedScan TextMiner literature mining software, the companies said last week.

Jubilant said that Genstruct plans to use PathArt in its internal discovery program and as an enhancement for its Molecular Epistemics discovery platform. Keith Elliston, president and CEO of Genstruct, said that PathArt “enhances our ability to build the logical models of disease that are critical to our programs in oncology, metabolic disorders, and inflammation.”

Ariadne said that Genstruct would use MedScan TextMiner to extract biological facts from the scientific literature in order to improve its Knowledge Assembly modeling process.

Dow Extends Genomatica Agreement

Genomatica last week said that it has extended a research agreement with the Dow Chemical Company that began in 2002, after successfully achieving “a series of scientific milestones.”

Under the terms of the extended agreement, Dow has licensed Genomatica’s SimPheny modeling and simulation technology, which it will use to improve recombinant protein expression from specially designed strains of Pseudomonas fluorescens. Scientists at Genomatica will collaborate with Dow researchers on the project.

Financial terms of the expanded agreement were not disclosed.

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