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Industry Briefs: Feb 12, 2009

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Life Posts $541M Revs in Q4

Life Technologies, the combined businesses of Invitrogen and Applied Biosystems following their November 2008 merger, this week reported a fourth-quarter loss of $106.9 million due to charges associated with the deal.

Though the company's revenues fell short of analysts' expectations, the legacy Invitrogen business recorded organic revenue growth of 7 percent.

The firm brought in total revenues of $540.6 million for the three-month period ended Dec. 31, compared to revenues of $336.4 million for Invitrogen alone in the 2007 fourth quarter. That tally fell short of analysts' consensus estimate of revenues of $572.6 million for the quarter.

The firm said that ABI contributed $191 million in revenues for the five weeks during the fourth quarter of 2008 that it was part of Life Technologies. Organically, revenues for the legacy Invitrogen business grew 7 percent year over year.

In addition to the ABI revenue, the firm's BioDiscovery segment brought in revenues of $240.1 million for Q4 2008 — up .5 percent year over year including a negative affect from currency translation of 4.5 percent, while the Cell Systems segment had revenues of $113.7 million — up 17 percent year over year including a 4 percent benefit from currency translation.

The company did not disclose revenue figures for ABI’s mass spec business.

Life Technologies' R&D spending for the quarter was $47.3 million, while its SG&A spending was $151.7 million. The company took charges of $74.4 million related to in-process R&D and charges of $22.6 million related to business consolidation costs.
As a result of the merger-related costs, Life Technologies posted a net loss of $106.9 million, compared to a profit of $41.1 million, for Invitrogen in the 2007 fourth quarter.

For full-year 2008, Life Technologies had revenues of $1.62 billion compared to revenues of $1.28 billion for Invitrogen in 2007. The BioDiscovery segment had FY 2008 revenues of $989.9 million, while Cell Systems contributed $443.7 million, and ABI contributed $191 million for the five weeks as part of the parent company.

Life Technologies' R&D costs for the year were $142.5 million, and its SG&A spending for the year was $499.3 million.

The firm posted a profit of $31.3 million for the year, versus a profit of $143.2 million for Invitrogen for FY 2007.

Life Technologies finished the year with cash and investments of $448.3 million. The company also holds $3.5 billion in long-term debt, and company officials said during a conference the call that repayment of debt was the top priority for use of its cash.

Life Technologies said that it expects to post low single-digit organic revenue growth for 2009, with an expected negative impact from currency translation of around 4 percent.


Agilent, Protein Discovery Reach Deal on Mass Spec Reagent

Agilent Technologies and Protein Discovery announced this week a distribution deal for the latter’s PPS Silent Surfactant reagent to prepare biological samples for mass spectrometry analysis.

The deal encompasses aspects of sales, marketing, and support for PPS Silent Surfactant. Further terms of the deal were not disclosed

Agilent customers can order the product through the company’s Life Sciences and Chemical Analysis division.

PPS Silent Surfactant is an acid-cleavable, zwitterionic detergent that is “particularly useful for solubilizing hydrophobic proteins for extraction and preparative digestion,” the companies said in a joint statement.


Sigma-Aldrich Says Q4 Revs Decline 4 Percent

Sigma-Aldrich this week reported a four percent decline in fourth-quarter revenues year over year, which included a negative impact of 7 percent from foreign currency translation.

The firm brought in revenues of $509.8 million for the three-month period ended Dec. 31, compared to revenues of $532.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2007. Sigma said that organic sales for its research business grew 4 percent, while sales for its specialty fine chemicals (SAFC) business were flat with the year before.

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The Research Essentials business had sales of $97.6 million, the Research Specialties business had sales of $190 million, the Research Biotech business had sales of $77.1 million, and the Research Chemicals business brought in revenues of $364.7 million for the quarter. SAFC had sales of $145.1 million.

Sigma's profit declined slightly to $84.3 million from $84.9 million.

The company's R&D expenses increased around 3 percent to $16.1 million from $15.7 million, while its SG&A spending rose 2 percent to $134.2 million from $131.6 million.
For full-year 2008, Sigma's revenues grew 8 percent, aided by a 3 percent benefit from currency translation. The firm had total revenues of $2.2 billion versus $2.04 billion in 2007.

The firm's Research Essentials business had sales of $420.9 million for the year, while Research Specialties had sales of $824.1 million, Research Biotech had sales of $332.2 million, and Research Chemicals had sales of $1.58 billion. The SAFC business had 2008 sales of $623.5 million.

Sigma's profit for the year was $341.5 million, up 10 percent from a profit of $311.1 million in 2007.

The company's R&D spending for the year grew 9 percent to $64.55 million from $59.3 million, while its SG&A spending also increased around 9 percent to $561.6 million from $517.1 million.

Sigma-Aldrich finished the year with $251.8 million in cash and cash equivalents.
The firm said that it expects currency translation to reduce 2009 growth by approximately 7 percent, if exchange rates remain at current levels.

Sigma also noted that its board of directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $.145 per share payable on March 16 to shareholders of record on March 2.


Intus to Sell HealthLinx Ovarian Cancer Dx in UK, Ireland

Australian diagnostic firm HealthLinx announced this week a potentially exclusive three-year deal with UK-based Intus Healthcare to distribute HealthLinx’s OvPlex ovarian cancer diagnostic test in the UK and Ireland.

Intus will have exclusive distribution rights if sales surpass certain targets. Intus will begin selling the test in the third quarter, it said in a statement. The deal marks the first time that OvPlex will be available outside of Australia.

No further financial details were released.

OvPlex, based on a panel of five proteins detected in blood, was released by ARL Pathology in Australia in October 2008. In its statement HealthLinx said the test is “the most accurate commercially available, early stage ovarian cancer diagnostic with 92 percent diagnostic efficiency.”


Origene Raises $6.5M, Completes Purchase of Chinese Antibody Firm

Origene this week said that it has raised an additional $6.5 million in private equity funding, allowing it to complete the acquisition of Chinese firm Shenzhen P&A Biotech, a manufacturer of monoclonal antibodies.

The purchase completes Origene’s establishment of its technology center to develop genome-wide monoclonal antibodies to all human proteins, the Rockville-Md., firm said in a statement.

The company has developed a genome-wide collection of antigen standards and more than 100,000 tissue samples “ideal for high quality antibody validation,” Origene said. With the acquisition of Shenzhen and its genome-wide resources, the company said it believes it will be able to manufacture “several thousand” high quality antibodies each year.

The Scan

Gone, But Now Reconstructed SARS-CoV-2 Genomes

In a preprint, a researcher describes his recovery of viral sequences that had been removed from a common database.

Rare Heart Inflammation Warning

The Food and Drug Administration is adding a warning about links between a rare inflammatory heart condition and two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, Reuters reports.

Sandwich Sampling

The New York Times sent tuna sandwiches for PCR analysis.

Nature Papers Describe Gut Viruses, New Format for Storing Quantitative Genomic Data, More

In Nature this week: catalog of DNA viruses of the human gut microbiome, new dense depth data dump format to store quantitative genomic data, and more.