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ABI Reports 4-Percent Revenue Growth in Fiscal Q2; Mass Spec Sales Grow 5 Percent

Applied Biosystems reported a 4-percent increase in total revenue for its second quarter of fiscal 2006, the company said this week.

ABI had total revenues of $481 million for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2005, compared to $463 million for same period one year ago. Revenue for its mass spectrometry segment grew 5 percent to $119 million year over year.

"Our strength in small molecule quantitation can be shown in the strong demand for triple quad instruments," said Catherine Burzik, president of ABI, during the company's quarterly earnings call. "In proteomics biomarker discovery and validation, the 4800 MALDI TOF/TOF system is performing well. We are entering into Q3 with a backlog for 4800s."

ABI reported solid growth in its RT-PCR and Applied Genomics unit, where revenues grew 10 percent to $147 million.

The company's DNA-sequencing segment did not fare as well, sliding more than 1 percent to $141 million. ABI said that it expected revenue growth in the real-time PCR/applied genomics and mass spec product categories to continue, and anticipated a further decline in its DNA sequencing segment.

ABI also reported R&D expenses of $45 million for the quarter, a slight decrease from $47 million a year ago, a decrease ABI attributed to a realignment of its R&D investments.

Net income fell to $31 million from $73 million for the same period last year.

ABI said it expects its growth to be in the low to mid single-digits for the remainder of FY 2006.

In other news, Applera said this week that it will pay a quarterly dividend of $.0425 per share to Applied Biosystems shareholders.

The dividend is payable on April 3 to stockholders of record as of the close of business on March 1, the company said.


Caprion Signs Biomarker Discovery Deal with Berlex

Caprion Pharmaceuticals will collaborate with Berlex to identify pharmacodynamic biomarkers in plasma using its CellCarta platform, the company said this week.

Berlex, a US affiliate of Schering AG, will use the markers in pre-clinical therapy development, according to a statement.

Financial details were not released.


Novo Nordisk Signs ActiveSight for Protein Crystallography

ActiveSight has signed a deal with Novo Nordisk to provide protein crystallography, the company announced this week.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

ActiveSight is a division of Rigaku that features a portfolio of drug targets for co-crystallography.


Ciphergen and Nasdaq Resolve Dispute

The "E" appended to Ciphergen's ticker symbol has been removed this week as the company has been informed by Nasdaq National Market officials that it has "evidenced compliance" in listing requirements, Ciphergen said this week.

In November Nasdaq said Ciphergen "has not complied with its periodic reporting requirements for the filing of" its third-quarter earnings report.

Ciphergen's third-quarter earnings report was delayed because of an audit investigation which looked into how and why Ciphergen recognized approximately $500,000 in sales for the three months ended June 30, 2005.

Ciphergen declined to comment on the resolution of the dispute.


GE Healthcare Q4 Revenues Up 5.4 Percent

General Electric last week reported that revenues for its healthcare segment increased by 5.4 percent for the fourth quarter of 2005, to $4.49 billion from $4.26 billion during the fourth quarter of 2004.

GE reported total earnings of $18.3 billion for 2005, up 12 percent from $16.3 billion in 2004. Earnings per share were $1.72, up 10 percent from 2004.

The company did not disclose its research and development spending for the fourth quarter of 2005.


India's Manipal AcuNova Adopts Thermo's Finnigan for DMPK Lab

Manipal AcuNova has deployed Thermo Electron's Finnigan TSQ Quantum Ultra mass spectrometer, Thermo announced this week.

Manipal will use the triple quadrupole mass specs in high-throughput drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics research, according to a statement.

Financial terms were not released.

Bangalore-based Manipal AcuNova is a joint venture between Manipal Education and Medical Group and AcuNova.


Clinical Data Partners with IO Informatics on Final Stage of NIST Grant

Clinical Data and IO Informatics will partner on the final phase of a five-year Advanced Technology Program grant from the National Institute of Science and Technology, the companies said this week.

The $11.7-million grant was initially awarded to Clinical Data subsidiary Icoria in 2002 with the aim of creating software tools and other technologies that can better support the discovery of novel targets, drugs, and diagnostics using systems biology.

As part of the new partnership, the companies will use IO Informatics' intelligent multidimensional object, a mobile, extensible database record that transforms specific pieces or even parts of data into objects that scientists can describe, use, share, and relate to across application and database boundaries, the companies said.

The IMO will be applied to data accumulated through Clinical Data's Gene-to-Cell System approach to pharmaceutical and life science discovery, the companies said.

Further financial details were not disclosed.


Johns Hopkins to Offer Online Master's Degree in Bioinformatics

Johns Hopkins University will launch an online master's degree program in bioinformatics this spring through the Whiting School of Engineering, the University announced last week.

The program, which is outlined here, is aimed at working professionals with undergraduate and advanced degrees in biological sciences or engineering.

Students will be required to complete 11 courses in molecular biology, computer science, and bioinformatics. The courses must be completed within six years.

The Scan

Highly Similar

Researchers have uncovered bat viruses that are highly similar to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Gain of Oversight

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Biden Administration is considering greater oversight of gain-of-function research.

Lasker for mRNA Vaccine Work

The Scientist reports that researchers whose work enabled the development of mRNA-based vaccines are among this year's Lasker Award winners

PLOS Papers on Causal Variant Mapping, Ancient Salmonella, ALK Fusion Test for NSCLC

In PLOS this week: MsCAVIAR approach to map causal variants, analysis of ancient Salmonella, and more.