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Lion Releases Q3 Earnings, Pharmacopeia, Transcriptome Database, SAS Discovery Software, Quattro Research, Inpharmatica, Molecular Connections, Sertanty, Evogene, UT Southwestern


Lion Releases Q3 Earnings, Restates Prior-Year Figures, Adjusts Guidance

Lion Bioscience last week reiterated the preliminary third-quarter earnings it released in early February [BioInform 02-09-04], and restated its results for prior fiscal years, which reflected a change in its revenue recognition policy.

For the third quarter of its current fiscal year, which ended Dec. 31, 2003, Lion’s revenues fell to €5.8 million ($7.2 million), from €8.7 million during the same quarter a year ago.

Lion’s net loss for the quarter narrowed to €6.3 million, from €21.8 million in the same period in 2002.

As of Dec. 31, Lion had cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities of €48.1 million.

Differences from its preliminary earnings figures, published on Feb. 4, result mainly from currency fluctuation effects, according to the company.

Under its new accounting practice, the company recognizes revenue from software licenses ratably over the term of the contract, rather than upon delivery of the software. As a result, the company’s revenues for the 2000/2001 fiscal year decreased by €1.8 million, revenues for the 2001/2002 fiscal year decreased by €7.3 million, and revenues for the 2002/2003 fiscal year remained stable.

The company expects revenues of €19-20 million and a net loss of €22-24 million for the current fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2004.

Lion said it is adjusting its guidance for fiscal year 2004/2005 due to the restatement and the “difficult” life science informatics market. The company is projecting sales of €12-13 million in fiscal year 2004/2005. This estimate does not include a possible follow-on project from Bayer after the companies’ current collaboration ends in this summer.

Pharmacopeia Adopts ‘ACCL’ Ticker Symbol

Pharmacopeia began trading on the Nasdaq on Friday under the ticker symbol “ACCL,” as the company prepares to take on the name “Accelrys” as part of a planned reorganization that includes the spin-off of its drug discovery unit, PPD.

Pharmacopeia said that it will request approval of the name change at its upcoming 2004 stockholder meeting. Meanwhile, PPD has applied for a listing on the Nasdaq National Market under the ticker symbol “PCOP.”

The company reiterated its plans to conclude the spin-off by the end of the present quarter.

SAIC Teams with Lynx, NIH on Transcriptome Database

Lynx Therapeutics last week said it has entered into a “multi-million dollar services agreement” with IT services firm SAIC-Frederick and a consortium of Institutes of the National Institutes of Health to build a reference transcriptome database of gene expression patterns in mouse tissue.

Lynx will use its Massively Parallel Signature Sequencing technology to characterize gene expression patterns in mouse tissue samples provided by the NIH in order to populate the database with transcriptome data, which the company described as “the full complement of activated genes, messenger RNAs or transcripts in a particular cell, tissue, or animal.”

Gencell to Use SAS Discovery Software

SAS has licensed its Scientific Discovery Solutions software to Gencell, a subsidiary of Aventis Pharma focused on the treatment of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and ophthalmologic indications.

Gencell will use the package, which includes SAS Research Data Management, SAS Microarray Solution, and SAS Enterprise Miner, to analyze and manage gene expression data, to handle data from clinical trials, and to develop electronic filings to health authorities.

4SC Spins out a Software Company

4SC, a drug discovery and development company based in Martinsried, Germany, said last week that it has spun out an independent company to sell life science software.

The new company, Quattro Research, will market a product called Quattro/Suite that contains solutions for registering new chemical substances, managing biological assay data, stock management, and an electronic laboratory notebook. The company will also provide consulting services.

4SC said that its proprietary 4Scan technology for the virtual screening of large data sets “does not constitute part of the spin-off.”

Quattro Research began operations in January. 4SC holds 48.8 percent of the new company. The main shareholder, with a total of 51.2 percent, is Quattro Research’s founder team, Bernhard Schirm and Markus Weisser, who are managing directors of the company. Schirm was formerly head of IT at 4SC.

MDL to Distribute Inpharmatica’s Database

MDL Information Systems and Inpharmatica last week said that MDL would serve as a non-exclusive distributor for Inpharmatica’s Biopendium proteome annotation database.

Under the agreement, Elsevier subsidiary MDL will offer both installed and hosted versions of Biopendium worldwide, excluding Japan. Other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Inpharmatica said that the distribution agreement would allow it to devote more resources to building its drug discovery business.

MDS Proteomics to Use Molecular Connections Text-Mining Services

Molecular Connections, a biomedical text-mining firm based in Bangalore, India, has entered into a services agreement with MDS Proteomics of Toronto.

Molecular Connections will apply its literature-curation and -annotation services to experimental data provided by MDSP. According to Molecular Connections, its analysis methods will provide additional information on protein function, protein interactions, protein expression, and disease association.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Aventis Licenses Sertanty Kinase Database

Cheminformatics firm Sertanty said last week that Aventis Pharmaceuticals has purchased a global license to its Kinase Knowledgebase for use in preclinical research in France, Germany, and the US.

Aventis also licensed Sertanty’s Lucia web-based search interface.

According to Sertanty, the Kinase Knowledgebase covers the kinase gene family and provides access to structure activity data from scientific literature, journal articles, and patents. The knowledgebase currently contains 85,000 SAR data points for more than 100 targets, the company said.

Evogene Raises $1.5M in Private Placement

Compugen spin-off Evogene has raised $1.5 million in a second closing of its first private placement.

The second closing brings the total amount of the first round to $3.5 million, after the first closing in March 2003.

Evogene combines predictive computational biology and plant genomics with classical breeding technologies to generate improved crops.

UT Southwestern Launches Systems Biology Center

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center has established a new research center focused on systems biology research.

Alfred Gilman, the chairman of pharmacology at UT Southwestern Medical Center and a Nobel Laureate, will head the center — called the Cecil H. and Ida Green Comprehensive Center for Molecular, Computational, and Systems Biology.

The center was made possible by a $12.8 million donation from the Cecil and Ida Green Foundation, said UT Southwestern.


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