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ABI, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Invitrogen, Bruker, Sigma-Aldrich, Proteome Sciences, Cellzome, Theranostics Health, NIH, Kinaxo Biotechnologies, Takeda, Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Promega, GeneCopoeia, GeneGo, Chinese University of Ho

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ABI MS Growth Continues to Slow, Total Revs up 4.3 Percent for Q3
 
Applied Biosystems reported growth of less than 1 percent in its mass spectrometry business this week, while overall revenues rose 4.3 percent for its fiscal third quarter.
 
For the three months ended March 31, ABI’s mass spec revenues rose to $128.5 million, up .94 percent from $127.3 million a year ago. The percentage of total revenues from mass spec sales decreased to 23 percent from 24 percent a year ago.
 
During the past year, growth in its mass spec business has steadily shrunk from 8.5 percent for the quarter ended June 30, 2007.In a statement, Mark Stevenson, president and COO of the company, said it saw “challenges” in the mass spec business during the quarter, but did not provide details.
 
Company-wide revenues rose to $552.6 million for the quarter, up from $529.9 million during the third quarter of 2007. Foreign currency had a favorable impact of about 4 percent on revenues compared to a year ago, the company said. Net income climbed 9.8 percent to $82.9 million from $75.5 million during the year-ago period.
 
R&D spending slid 10.7 percent to $48.6 million due to lower employer-related costs and the termination last June of a contract with the US Department of Defense. As of March 31, ABI had $364.7 million in cash and short-term investments.
 
For full fiscal year 2008, ending June 30, the company forecast growth in the mid single digits, assuming current exchange rates. Revenues for its instruments business are expected to be comparable to year-ago levels while its consumables business is anticipated to increase.
 
ABI and its parent firm, Applera, are in the midst of separating themselves from Celera. The split is expected to be completed by the June 30, after which the Applera name will be dropped and ABI and Celera will operate as two independent, publicly traded companies.
 

 
Thermo Fisher Revs Rise 9.2 Percent, Profits up 67.7 Percent
 
Thermo Fisher Scientific reported a 10 percent increase in its Analytical Technologies division, which houses its proteomics instruments business, as it grew to $1.1 billion from $988.3 million during the first quarter.
 
Company-wide revenues rose to $2.6 billion, up 9.2 percent from $2.3 billion a year ago. Currency translation increased revenues by 4 percent. Profits rose 67.7 percent to $233 million from $138.9 million a year ago.
 
Thermo Fisher’s Laboratory Products and Services division posted receipts of $1.6 billion, up 9.4 percent from $1.4 billion a year ago.
 
R&D spending increased to $62 million for the quarter from $59.8 million. The company said it had $734 million in cash and cash equivalents as of March 31.
 
The company raised its full-year 2008 revenue guidance to between $10.6 billion and $10.7 billion, or a growth rate of 9 to 10 percent over 2007.
 

 
Invitrogen Revs Up 13.5 Percent, BioDiscovery Up 12.4 Percent
 
Revenues for Invitrogen’s BioDiscovery unit climbed 12.4 percent during the first quarter, helping drive up the company’s total revenues 13.5 percent to $350.2 million, the company said this week.
 
For the three months ended March 31, the BioDiscovery business, which contains tools and consumables for proteomics research, posted revenues of $247.3 million, up from $220.1 million during the year-ago period. Invitrogen’s Cell Culture Systems segment revenues increased 16.2 percent to $102.9 million in the first quarter from $88.6 million a year ago.
 
Company-wide revenues rose to $350.2 million, compared to $308.7 million during the first-quarter of 2007. Organic growth contributed 7 percent to the overall figures. Invitrogen’s profits jumped 97 percent to $59.7 million from $30.3 million posted a year ago.
 
“Our end markets are stable, our portfolio of products has never been more robust, we continue to benefit from our execution focus,” Invitrogen chairman and CEO Greg Lucier said in a statement.
 
During the quarter, the company spent $30.6 million on R&D, compared to $27.4 million a year ago. It said it had $549.1 million in cash and short-term investments as of March 31.
 
The company anticipates revenue growth to be in the high single digits for full-year 2008 including currency from CellzDirect, a Research Triangle, NC-based hepatocyte-focused products and services company that Invitrogen purchased earlier this year.
 

 
Bruker Expects $12M Loss from Foreign Exchange for Q1
 
Bruker said this week that it expects to incur approximately $12 million pre-tax of foreign exchange losses in the first quarter of 2008. The figure is based on preliminary financial data.
 
The losses resulted primarily from the weakening of the US dollar and unexpected gain in the Swiss franc, relative to the dollar and euro by 11 percent and 3 percent, respectively, during the five weeks between the closing of the Bruker BioSpin purchase and the end of the first quarter.
 
The foreign exchange losses during the quarter relate “primarily to the reevaluation of intercompany receivables within the Bruker group, to large cash balances held by Swiss Bruker BioSpin subsidiaries in various non-Swiss franc currencies, as well as to a Swiss franc-denominated, short-term intercompany loan from a Swiss to a German Bruker subsidiary,” which was used to finance part of the BioSpin purchase, Bruker said in a statement.
 
For the future, the company said it plans to reduce the effects of currency fluctuations by “enhancing its treasury activities and capabilities.” It hired a treasurer last month with global oversight and responsibility. It also is taking steps to more effectively hedge or settle intercompany balances, to reduce non-functional currency holdings, and to accelerate the pay-down of the initial $183 million of the Swiss franc- and euro-denominated portions of Bruker’s senior credit facility.
 
Last week, the company repaid approximately $55 million of the Swiss franc-portion of its revolving credit line.
 
For the first quarter, the company said it expects to report revenues in the range of $235 million to $240 million, compared to $207.6 million a year. The year-ago figure includes revenues from BioSpin as if it were part of Bruker. In addition to the after-tax foreign exchange losses, Bruker will also take after-tax charges related to its acquisition of the BioSpin business in February.
 
Bruker expects to report its first-quarter earnings results early next month. 
 
Also, last week, Bruker’s Daltonics division said it had received EN ISO 13485 certification for its German operations.
 
The company called it an important milestone in the development of its in vitro diagnostic business, particularly in the fields of clinical proteomics, clinical microbiology, and molecular imaging in pathology.
 
The certification “now allows us to further develop several of our clinical research platforms toward IVD-DE certification and reimbursement,” said Wolfgang Pusch, assistant vice president of the Bruker Daltonics Clinical Research Systems business.
 

 
7.6 Percent Benefit in Currency Translation Helps Sigma-Aldrich Revs Rise 14.9 Percent
 
Sigma-Aldrich this week reported a 14.9 percent increase in first-quarter sales, helped by a 7.6 percent benefit from currency translation, and a 12.8 percent gain in profits year over year.
 
The company posted receipts of $569.6 million for the three months ended March 31, compared to revenues of $495.9 million for the comparable period a year ago. The firm’s organic growth rate for the quarter was 6.5 percent, excluding the currency effects and acquisition of Epichem in February 2007.
 
Sales growth for its Research Specialties business was 13.9 percent, rising to $213.3 million, while sales for the Research Essentials business climbed 10.8 percent to $110.1 million. Sales for the Research Biotech business increased 16.7 percent to $88.7 million, and sales for the SAFC business jumped 18.2 percent to $157.5 million.
 
Sigma-Aldrich posted net income of $84.5 million, compared with net income of $74.9 millionin the first quarter of 2007.
 
The firm’s R&D expenses increased 12.8 percent to $15.9 million from $14.1 million, while its SG&A costs rose 16.4 percent to $147.7 million from $126.9 million.
 
Sigma-Aldrich finished the quarter with $226.4 million in cash and cash equivalents.
 
The firm is targeting 2008 organic sales growth of 7 percent, with currency effects expected to add an additional 6 percent of growth.
 

 
Proteome Sciences, Cellzome Reach Supply Agreement
 
Cellzome will use Proteome Sciences Tandem Mass Tag technology in its proprietary chemical proteomics platform under a supply agreement announced this week.
 
Cellzome has been using isobaric mass tags in its chemical proteomics platform and was a beta test site for TMT sixplex, Proteome Sciences said in a statement. Cellzome will now integrate TMT sixplex as an isobaric mass tagging technology for its own research.
 
In a statement, Marcus Bantscheff, director of analytical sciences for Cellzome said that TMT sixplex is “particularly useful when using our proprietary Kinobeads technology where we can quantitatively measure the extent that compounds or drugs interact with kinases within cells and tissues.”
 
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
 

 
Theranostics Health Licenses IP from NIH
 
The National Institutes of Health has exclusively licensed IP to Theranostics Health to commercialize microdissection technology including laser capture microdissection, combined with protein analysis for cancer diagnostics and companion diagnostics.
 
Theranostic, launched a year ago by Emanuel Petricoin and Lance Liotta at George Mason University, will pay NIH “customary license issue royalties, minimum annual royalties, [and] benchmark and earned royalties upon successful commercialization of the technology,” the company said in a statement.
 
Company officials declined to provide further details about the agreement.
 

 
Takeda San Diego Reaches Deal to Use Kinaxo’s Kinator Platform
 
Kinaxo Biotechnologies will make its KinaTor chemical proteomics technology available to Takeda San Diego researchers in drug discovery, preclinical research, and clinical development under an agreement announced last week.
 
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
 
The Kinator platform combines proprietary chemical proteomics technologies with mass mass spectrometry for the identification and characterization of a drug candidate’s native molecular targets in cell lines and tissue samples.
 
Takeda San Diego is a wholly owned subsidiary of Takeda Pharmaceutical, based in Osaka, Japan.
 

 
Washington State Provides $4.8M for MS-based Biomarker Discovery Technology Development
 
Richard Smith at the Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has been awarded $4.8 million from Washington state to develop mass spectrometry-based technology for biomarker discovery.
 
The money, being funded by Washington’s new Life Sciences Discovery Fund, comes from its portion of the Master Tobacco Settlement, reached between several states and tobacco companies.
 
In an e-mail to ProteoMonitor, Smith said the aim of the technology being developed is to increase the throughput and depth of coverage of “broad proteome measurements” to make discovery efforts more effective.
 
The technology involves the use of “very fast ion mobility separations and advances that greatly increases the sensitivity of the mass spectrometer,” Smith said.
 
“This grant will primarily focus on an initial application of this technology, and will include the analysis of much larger numbers of samples in the discovery efforts (related to liver disease) so as to address the significant challenges that arise due to biological variation,” he added.
 

 
Promega’s HaloTags Combine with GeneCopoeia’s ORF Clones
 
Promega said this week it will combine its HaloTag protein fusion technology with GeneCopoeia’s library of human and mouse open reading frame OmicsLink sequences.
 
HaloTag is a multi-functional protein tag that binds covalently and specifically to a variety of synthetic ligands. It allows tagged proteins to be labeled for in vitro and in vivo imaging, or with immobilized agents or purification.
 
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
 

 
Chinese University of Hong Kong Using GeneGo’s MetaCore
 
GeneGo announced this week the pediatric department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong will be using its MetaCore database of biomarkers and drug targets.
 
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.