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Lion Reduces its Losses for FY Q1, But Bioinformatics Revenues Decline as Sale Approaches

Lion Bioscience last week reported a decline in bioinformatics revenues for the quarter ended June 30, but a significant reduction in its total losses as BioInform went to press last week.

In its earnings report for the first quarter of its 2005/2006 fiscal year, Lion separated the financial results for its bioinformatics business, which it plans to sell by the end of the month, from its continuing operations, which it intends to maintain as a holding company following the sale of the bioinformatics business.

Including the bioinformatics business, which the company reported as discontinued operations, Lion posted total revenues of €1.75 million ($2.17 million) for the quarter, a 56 percent decline from €3.96 million in the year-ago period.

The bioinformatics group posted €1.36 million in revenues for the quarter, compared to €3.84 million in the prior-year period. Revenues for the company's continuing operations, which include royalties from its Cambridge, Mass.-based LBRI group, increased, however, to €392,000 from €125,000 in the year-ago quarter.

The company's total losses for the period fell to €53,000 from €2.62 million in the same period of 2004.

The bioinformatics group's quarterly loss was €49,000, compared to €1.7 million in the comparable period of 2004, while the loss for the company's continuing operations was €4,000, compared to €909,000 in the first quarter of 2004/2005.

Lion's total R&D expenses declined to €525,000 for the quarter, compared to €1.4 million in the prior-year period.

The company had cash and cash equivalents of €9.6 million as of June 30, and an additional €14.8 million in marketable securities.

"For the first time in Lion's history, we are close to a near-balanced result," said Peter Willinger, Lion's CFO, in a statement. "We are controlling our costs well and there is only a small need to use our cash reserves."

Willinger added that the company expects to announce the sale of its bioinformatics business "within the next few weeks."


LBNL, QB3 Launch Biological Data Management Core

The California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research (QB3) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory said last week that they have partnered to create a joint Biological Data Management Core Facility.

QB3 carries out its computational biology work at UC San Francisco's Mission Bay campus, as well as on the UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz campuses. QB3 has entered into a new data management partnership with Berkeley Lab's Biological Data Management and Technology Center to create the joint facility, the organizations said.

The core facility will provide data-management support and computational tools for academic groups affiliated with QB3 and LBNL. Victor Markowitz, head of LBNL's biological data center, will run the joint center.

"Effectively addressing … biological data management challenges in an academic setting requires consolidating data management and system development expertise in a central core, which has led us to create the Biological Data Management Core Facility," said Horst Simon, associate laboratory director for computing sciences at Berkeley Lab, in a statement.


Solvay Licenses Pathway Tools from Genomatix

Genomatix Software said last week that Solvay Pharmaceuticals has licensed its BibliospherePE pathway database and analysis system.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.


NYU Buys 4.5-Tflop Cluster from IBM for Bioinformatics, Atmosphere Research

IBM said last week that New York University has installed 512-processor, 4.5-teraflop IBM eServer BladeCenter to support research at its Center for Atmosphere-Ocean Science as well as a collaborative effort between the Center for Comparative Functional Genomics and the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences on genomics and bioinformatics.

The purchase of the system was supported in part by the Department of the Navy's Office of Naval Research and the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.

At the Center for Comparative Functional Genomics and the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, the system will support algorithm and software development for data integration, data mining, and visualization, biological network simulation, and high-throughput microscopy.

IBM said that it is also working with NYU to create a joint test center where high performance computing application developers "can enable, test, and tune their applications and solutions" using IBM JS20 systems. This center will include a 128-processor version of the supercomputer that will have a peak performance of more than a teraflop.


GeneGo Awarded Phase II SBIR for MetaDrug Development

GeneGo said last week that it has received a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research from the National Institute of General Medical Science to develop its MetaDrug predictive ADMET platform.

Julie Bryant, vice president of business development at GeneGo, said in a statement that the funding will "allow us to expand applicability of MetaDrug in other areas of biological effects of drug action such as pharmacogenomics, prediction of side effects, and new therapeutic indications."

The company also plans to add a database of ligand-protein interactions from humans and other species, said Sean Ekins, vice president of computational biology. "We will develop large in vitro datasets for drug interactions with key human cytochrome P450s that will be used to build predictive algorithms to complement those currently in MetaDrug," he said in a statement.

The company also plans to add an algorithm for metabolite prediction that will allow users to "highlight the important metabolites," Ekins said.


Pfizer Renews Subscription to GeneLogic's ToxExpress Database, Adds ToxShield

Pfizer has renewed its subscription to Gene Logic's ToxExpress database of gene expression profiles and clinical data for three years, Gene Logic said last week.

Pfizer has also subscribed to Gene Logic's ToxShield software for assessing and ranking drug candidates based on their potential toxicity in humans, the company said.

Gene Logic said that it is also providing microarray services for Pfizer to determine potentially toxic effects of novel compounds on tissues of interest.

Pfizer has been a subscriber to Gene Logic's ToxExpress database since February 2000.


GE Healthcare, Harvard Lab to Develop New Software for IN Cell System

GE Healthcare said last week that it has given an IN Cell 1000 imaging system to Harvard University's Center for Neurodegeneration and Repair, and said that it and the university will develop new software applications for the platform.

The IN Cell system will primarily be used by HCNR researchers investigating neurodegenerative diseases and the central nervous system using a software package that includes fully validated analysis routines for rapid analysis of a range of biological processes, GE and HCNR said.

HCNR has also been given access to the IN Cell Toolbox to accommodate applications of the system where pre-developed analysis routes are not appropriate.


Protana to Use Data-Management Tools from IBM, TurboWorx

Protana today said last week that it has chosen joint data-management tools made by TurboWorx and supported by IBM.

Protana is using an architecture comprised of TurboWorx Enterprise, which is supported by the IBM DB2 Universal Database, WebSphere Application Server, Tivoli Storage Manager, and IBM eServer xSeries.


GeneOS to Use Waban's Software; IBM to Manage Service

Finnish biotech GeneOS will use Waban's software to help it build and couple patients' longitudinal healthcare data with information from blood samples, the companies said last week.

The company will use Waban's biological sample and laboratory management, and data analysis and reporting system to create a centralized databank to "support the clinical and operational need" of GeneOS for collecting patient medical history, drug history, and genetic data into "specific biohealth databases," Waban said.

The software will be deployed on GeneOS' servers, which are managed by IBM Hosting Services in Helsinki. IBM will provide technical and operation support, security enhanced networking to GeneOS and hospitals, and control the servers, Waban said.

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