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Peter Leddy, Greg Lucier, Bill Castell, Joe Hogan, Thomas Hudson, PerkinElmer, Waters, Fisher Scientific, Qiagen, Abbott, GE, Thermo, Beckman, Kreatech, Ambion


Peter Leddy will join Invitrogen as senior vice president of human resources effective July 5, 2005. He most recently served as vice president of human resources for the Americas operations of Dell. Leddy will oversee Invitrogen's global HR strategy and report directly to CEO Greg Lucier.

General Electric said that Bill Castell, CEO of GE Healthcare, will retire next year. He will be replaced by Joe Hogan upon his retirement. The appointment was included in an announcement about the realigning of GE's businesses (see Briefs for more).

Thomas Hudson has been named to the scientific advisory board of Biopotential Capital, the Calgary, Alberta-based venture capital firm said June 14.

Hudson is an associate professor and associate physician in the departments of medicine & human genetics at McGill University and is the founder and director of the McGill University and Genome Quebec Innovation Centre. He is also the editor-in-chief of the journal Human Genetics.

Hudson formerly served as assistant director of the Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research and chaired the Science Committee of Genome Canada.


PerkinElmer, Waters in Neonatal
Screening Instrument Pact

PerkinElmer will become the exclusive distributor of three Waters platforms for neonatal screening applications, the companies said last week.

The agreement includes Waters' Quattro micro MS/MS, Quattro Premier MS/MS, and Alliance HPLC system. The Waters platforms will help PerkinElmer "speed the development and release of products," said Michael Yelle, Waters senior director of clinical business operations.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Fisher Offers $500M in Senior Notes,
Commences Offer for Other Notes

Fisher Scientific this week issued $500 million of 6-1/8 percent senior subordinated notes due 2015.

The company said that it would use the proceeds to pay for a tender offer for all $300 million principal amount of its outstanding 8 percent senior subordinated notes due 2013. That tender offer was also made this week.

Fisher said that the moves would reduce the average cost of its debt and extend maturities. It added that it would use additional proceeds for general corporate purposes.

Qiagen, Abbott Expand Diagnostics Alliance

Qiagen and Abbott have extended an existing distribution agreement, the companies said last week.

Terms of the original agreement gave Abbott distribution rights to an undisclosed number of real-time PCR diagnostic tests for use on Applied Biosystems' detection instruments. The PCR assays were developed by Artus, a company Qiagen recently acquired (see BioCommerce Week 6/2/2005).

Under the extended agreement, Abbott will have non-exclusive distribution rights to certain other Qiagen products, including infectious disease tests for hepatitis B, Epstein-Barr virus, Varicella-Zoster virus, Parvo B19 virus, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus, and enterovirus. These products "complement" tests developed and manufactured by Abbott and Celera Diagnostics, Qiagen said in a statement.

GE Realigns Businesses;
Castell to Step Down Next Year

General Electric said last week that it would reorganize its businesses, taking its current alignment of 11 units and realigning them into six industry-focused businesses: GE Infrastructure; GE Industrial; GE Commercial Financial Services; NBC Universal; GE Healthcare; and GE Consumer Finance.

The reorganization takes effect July 5, and according to CEO Jeff Immelt, would help the company accelerate growth and profitability as well as progress in emerging markets such as China, India, and the Middle East.

Bill Castell will remain the head of GE Healthcare and a member of the board of directors until his retirement next year. GE named Joe Hogan to take over as president and CEO of GE Healthcare upon Castell's retirement.

Thermo Gets Upgrade;
Beckman Gets Downgrade

Thermo Electron's shares were upgraded to outperform late last week by investment bank R.W. Baird. The upgrade was followed this week by the initiation of coverage by Deutsche Bank, which placed a hold rating on the stock and a price target of $29.

Thermo's shares closed up $.27 at $26.75 on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley cut its rating on Beckman Coulter's shares to equal weight last week. Beckman's shares closed at $63.26 on Tuesday, down $.22 for the day. Its shares had dropped 2.2 percent to $63.75 the day the downgrade was announced.

Kreatech, Ambion Combine
Platforms in Gene-Expression Kit

Kreatech Biotechnology will combine Ambion's MessageAmpTM II aRNA-amplification system with its own Universal Linkage labeling technology as part of a kit for gene-expression analysis, the company said this week.

The kit will include a variety of fluorescent dyes, including GE Healthcare's CyDyes, Perkin Elmer's Cyanine Dyes, and Dyomics' DY Dyes. Kreatech will also enclose a biotin labeling system that is suited for Affymetrix's GeneChips.

Costs or financial terms were not disclosed.

The Scan

Ancient Greek Army Ancestry Highlights Mercenary Role in Historical Migrations

By profiling genomic patterns in 5th century samples from in and around Himera, researchers saw diverse ancestry in Greek army representatives in the region, as they report in PNAS.

Estonian Biobank Team Digs into Results Return Strategies, Experiences

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics outline a procedure developed for individual return of results for the population biobank, along with participant experiences conveyed in survey data.

Rare Recessive Disease Insights Found in Individual Genomes

Researchers predict in Genome Medicine cross-population deletions and autosomal recessive disease impacts by analyzing recurrent nonallelic homologous recombination-related deletions.

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.