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Paula Jasper, Chuck Albright, Steve Burrill, Agilent, ABI, Gene Expression, Third Wave, Innogenetics, Genospectra, Panomics, Sigma-Aldrich, Caliper, Xenogen

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Geospiza said last week that Paula Jasper has joined the company as senior account executive, and Chuck Albright has been hired as director of product technology. Jasper was most recently director of technical sales and business development at Proligo. Prior to that, she was Western regional sales manager for the Codelink microarray product line in Motorola's Life Sciences Division. She has also worked for Agilent Technologies, IGEN International, and Pharmacia Biotech. Albright is a former Boeing executive, manager, and engineer.


Steve Burrill has resigned as a director of Clinical Data, effective immediately, the company said last week in a statement.

"Steve has now been requested by his partners to limit his board commitments and participation only to companies in which Burrill & Company has a substantial financial interest," Randal Kirk, chairman of Clinical Data's board, said in the statement.

 

BioCommerce Briefs

Agilent Posts 10-Percent Rise in Q1 Revenues

Agilent Technologies this week reported a 10-percent rise in first-quarter revenues as orders in its Bio-Analytical Measurement segment rose 6 percent.

The company's total revenues in the quarter ended Jan. 31, 2005, increased to $1.34 billion from $1.21 billion in the year-ago period. Revenues from the Bio-Analytical Measurement segment climbed 5 percent to $373 million from $354 million, while orders rose to $378 million in the quarter from $356 million a year earlier.

Agilent's research and development spending in the first quarter rose to $189 million from $175 million in the year-ago quarter.

The company's first-quarter adjusted net income jumped to $154 million, or $.32 per share, from $71 million, or $.15 per share, the year before. These numbers excluded charges related to the planned spin off of Agilent's Semiconductor Test Solutions unit and the reduction in infrastructure costs, as well as related non-cash stock compensation expenses.

As of Jan. 31, Agilent had cash and cash equivalents totaling $2.7 billion.


ABI Names 11 Partners for Gene Expression Program

Applied Biosystems has named 11 companies and academic centers in North America, Europe, and Asia to be part of its Advanced Gene Expression Service Provider Program, the company said last week.

Program members will offer ABI's microarray gene-expression tools and services, including microarrays for human, mouse, and rat genes to "enhance service providers' business offerings," ABI said. The program also includes technical support that "is expected to enhance [partners'] ability to deliver ... gene expression services to clients."

Additionally, partners will receive data-analysis and marketing support from ABI, as well as access to the company's Panther protein classification system, marketing collateral material development, and educational seminars, the company said.

The centers joining ABI's program are: Bionomics Research and Technology Center at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and Rutgers University in New Jersey; Geneservice Limited in the UK; Genome Express in France; IMGM Laboratories in Germany; Labindia in India; Macrogen in South Korea; the Center for Medical Research at the Medical University in Graz, Austria; Ming Shin Biotech in Taiwan; Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland; the Norwegian Microarray Consortium at the University of Bergen, Norway; and the Vanderbilt Shared Microarray Resource in Nashville, Tenn.

Researchers that participate in the services will have the option to validate data from ABI arrays using the company's TaqMan gene expression assays and real-time PCR Systems, ABI said.


Third Wave, Innogenetics Settle Patent Suit

Third Wave and Innogenetics have settled a patent-infringement suite Innogenetics filed against Third Wave last September, the companies said last week.

Under the agreement, Third Wave will get a non-exclusive license to sell Innogenetics hepatitis C genotyping products and the option to extend the license to the entire HCV patent estate.

"We are particularly happy to have concluded this licensing agreement. The amicable resolution of this issue will help both companies realize their ambitious near- and mid-term goals," said Innogenetics CEO Frank Morich.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Innogenetics sued Third Wave Technologies and Abbott Laboratories for allegedly infringing its HCV genotyping patents. The disposition of the Abbott suit was not immediately clear.

In the suits, filed with the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, Gent, Belgium-based Innogenetics claimed that both Abbott and Third Wave had been infringing its US Patent No. 5,846,704, which covers a process for typing HCV isolates. Both companies had refused to take a license to the technology, according to Innogenetics.

Third Wave and Innogenetics have been partners since at least April 2004, when the two companies signed a four-year marketing and distribution agreement, under which Innogenetics distributes a number of Third Wave's Invader molecular diagnostic products exclusively in Europe.


Genospectra Acquires Panomics; Gets Funding from Sigma-Aldrich

Genospectra has acquired Panomics, a provider of research reagents for transcription regulation, cell signaling, and signal transduction, the companies said late last week.

In conjunction with the acquisition, and disclosed separately, Genospectra closed a $12.2-million financing with Sigma-Aldrich and certain existing investors and affiliates of both companies (see feature).

Panomics, which is located in Redwood City, Calif., sells multiplex assays for the global analysis of transcriptional regulation and cell signaling. "By combining this portfolio with Genospectra's ... products and technologies for Parallel Quantitative Biology, the new company will provide an integrated pipeline of products in the functional biology and drug discovery space," Genospectra said in a statement.

The combined company is operating under the Panomics name and will play in markets including cell signaling, RNAi-mediated gene silencing and high performance assays, clinical biomarker discovery, and predictive toxicology.

Genospectra CEO Frank Witney will be CEO of the new company and Jason Li, founder and CEO of Panomics, will be chief operating officer.

The new company is headquartered at Genospectra's existing facilities in Fremont, Calif.


Caliper to Acquire Xenogen for $80M

Caliper Life Sciences this week said it plans to acquire in vivo imaging company Xenogen in a deal valued at about $80 million.

Under the agreement, Caliper will issue common stock and warrants totaling approximately 32 percent of the company's outstanding common stock on a fully diluted basis, assuming the exercise of warrants. In exchange, Caliper will receive all of Xenogen's equity securities outstanding at the closing, according to a statement.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2006.

Caliper said that cost savings from redundancies could total over $10 million, and said the combined companies have sufficient cash resources to close the deal and to fund the combined business through 2006. It said it expects to be cash-flow positive from operations beginning in 2007.

Caliper said the deal would accelerate its revenue growth and cited Xenogen's 30-percent revenue growth during the first nine months of 2004.

The company said the deal would boost annual sales growth "from mid-to-high single digits into a range of ten to fifteen percent."

Caliper said the $10 million in annual savings would come from job cuts in general and administrative positions and facilities costs.

Caliper CEO Kevin Hrusovsky said the deal was paved by the company's previous acquisitions

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.