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ABI, PerkinElmer, Beckman Coulter, Becton Dickinson, Waters, Procognia, Hamilton Life Science Robotics, Daresbury Laboratory, GenoLogics


Revenues for ABI’s DNA-Sequencing Business Slide 17 Percent in Fiscal Q2

Buoyed by a 2 percent benefit from foreign currency exchange, Applied Biosystems reported a 1-percent increase in total revenue for its second quarter of fiscal 2005, the company said last week.

ABI had total revenues of $463 million for the quarter, compared to $458 million for the year-ago quarter. The company’s flagship DNA-sequencing segment had revenues of $141 million, a 17-percent decrease over the year-ago quarter. Sequentially, the revenues were an improvement over the $116 million the segment reported in the last quarter, which was the company’s lowest revenue performance for the last 12 quarters for what was once its flagship growth product.

However, for this quarter, ABI’s real-time PCR and mass-spectrometry segments reported growth of 29 percent and 10 percent, respectively. RT-PCR revenues increased to $135 million for the quarter from $104 million one year ago. Mass-spec revenues were $114 million, compared to $103 million a year ago.

The company reported R&D expenses of $54 million for the quarter, compared to $61 million a year ago, a decrease ABI attributed to a realignment of its R&D investments.

Net income increased 40 percent as ABI reported $73 million for the period, compared to $52 million for the same period last year.

ABI reported a net gain of $30 million related to the previously announced sale of certain MALDI-TOF assets to MDS as part of the expansion of a joint venture with MDS Sciex. Additionally, ABI took charges of $3 million for severance and benefit costs and $2.3 million for a lease agreement as part of the company’s ongoing restructuring.

Going forward, ABI said it expects its growth to be in the low single-digits for the remainder of FY 2005.

PerkinElmer Q4 Revenues Jump 11 Percent on Strong Gene-Screening Business Growth

Spurred by revenue in its Life and Analytical Sciences division, PerkinElmer’s total receipts jumped 11 percent in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Total company revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31 shot up to $478 million from $431.8 million in the year-ago period. The Life and Analytical Sciences division saw revenue grow to $311 million in the fourth quarter of 2004 from $290 million in the same period last year — a rise of 6.8 percent.

The company attributed the division’s growth during the quarter to “double digit” revenue growth in its genetic-screening, -service and environmental businesses.

PerkinElmer’s R&D expenses for the fourth quarter of 2004 were up $4.7 million to $23.6 million.

Net income grew 27 percent, as PerkinElmer reported $37.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2004, compared to $27.9 million year-over-year.

PerkinElmer had around $197.5 million in cash and equivalents as of Jan. 2.

Beckman Coulter’s Q4 Revenues Increase 9 Percent

Beckman Coulter last week reported revenues of $694 million for the quarter ending Dec. 31, an increase of 9 percent over $639 million for the year-ago period.

Beckman’s net earnings for the period were $60 million, down 15 percent from last year’s $70 million in the fourth quarter.

The company said the drop in its net revenues was a consequence of the growing sales of its diagnostic instrument systems, which should result in increased revenue in the future from the consumption of aftermarket test kits, the company said. Beckman did not give a time frame to expect the growth to come.

Beckman reported R&D expenditures of $54 million for the quarter, compared to $55 million for the year-ago quarter.

The company had cash and cash equivalents of $68 million as of Dec. 31.

BD’s Q1 Revenues Up 9 Percent, Led by Biosciences, Medical Segment

Led by double-digit revenue growth in its biosciences and medical segments, Becton Dickinson last week reported $1.3 billion in the first quarter, up 9 percent over $1.2 billion in revenues for the year-ago period.

The company’s biosciences segment had revenues of $181 million, up 15 percent over the year-ago period’s $157 million. The rise in revenues was attributed primarily to sales of the company’s FacsCanto analyzer, and the FacsAria cell sorter, and sales of flow cytometry reagents to the clinical and research markets.

BD Medical had sales of $694 million, up 11 percent over the year-ago period’s $627 million in revenue, while BD Diagnostics had sales of $414 million, up 3 percent over the previous period’s $401 million in sales.

R&D expenditures were up 6.5 percent to $62 million for the period, compared to $58 million last year.

BD’s operating income for the quarter was $250 million, up 48 percent over $168 million in Q1 FY ‘04.

Waters’ Mass-Spec Sales Drive 18-Percent Growth in Q4 Revenues

Driven by a 40 percent growth in sales of its mass-spectrometry technology, Waters last week reported Q4 sales of $324 million, up 18 percent over $275 million in sales for the same quarter last year, the company said.

Doug Berthiaume, Waters chairman, CEO and president, said the increase in revenue reflected greater demand, but also showed a “pretty weak fourth quarter last year,” he said. The company did not disclose revenue figures for its mass-spec sales; the 40-percent number was reported in Waters’ conference call to investors yesterday.

“The growth is higher than I’d expect the true momentum as being,” he said. Mass spec sales were driven by the launch of the Acquity UPLC and Qtof Premier products, the company said.

Waters spent $16.5 million on R&D in the quarter, compared to $16.8 million in the year-ago period.

The company had net income of $72 million for the quarter, up 22 percent over $58 million for the year ago quarter.

Waters reported cash and cash equivalents of $539 million on hand as of Dec. 31.

Procognia, Hamilton to Automate Protein Array Production

Proteomics firm Procognia will collaborate with Hamilton Life Science Robotics on automating production of Procognia’s functional human protein arrays.

Bonaduz, Switzerland-based Hamilton has developed an automated process for handling proteins grown in baculovirus in insect cells, the company said in a statement. The firm’s automated process features its Microlab Star liquid-handling workstation, as well as its air-displacement technology and independent tip-positioning system, which enables contamination-free pipetting.

Maidenhead, UK-based Procognia said that it is creating human protein arrays that are grown in insect cells, rather than in bacteria, to ensure that the post-translational modifications of the proteins are more similar to those of humans. \

Terms of the alliance were not disclosed.

$5.7M Beamline for Structural Proteomics Opens at UK’s Daresbury Laboratory

A new X-ray beamline to study protein structures opened at Daresbury Laboratory’s Synchrotron Radiation Source in the UK last week.

The facility, funded with more than £3 million ($5.7 million) from the UK government, is managed by the North West Structural Genomics Consortium, which consists of groups from CCLRC Daresbury Laboratory; Manchester University; Liverpool University; Liverpool John Moores University; Leeds University; Astra Zeneca; and Astex Technologies. Astex provided an additional £90,000 in funding.

The consortium will receive one third of the available beamtime at the facility. The remaining time will be available to other UK researchers.

GenoLogics Secures $5 Million in Venture Capital Funding

Life sciences software developer GenoLogics announced this week that it has secured $5 million in capital funding from Seattle-based OVP Venture partners, Vancouver-based Yaletown Venture Partners and Vancouver-based GrowthWorks Capital.

OVP general partner Chad Waite said that Genologics is one of the few players in the field to foster an environment which will create an integration standard for all instruments in the market.

“An integrated open software platform is needed to help the life sciences sector adjust to the explosion taking place in the market,” said Waite.


The Scan

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Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

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Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.