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ABI, Vermillion, Biosite, Inverness, Matritech, Proteros, BayBG, Applera, Proxeon, Matrix Science, Miraculins, Power3

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ABI Launches New Mass Spec Services
 
Applied Biosystems this week said that it has expanded its services business to include three new services for customers using ABI/MDS Sciex mass spectrometers.
 
The services include a maintenance program for high-performance liquid chromatography systems manufactured by Agilent Technologies and sold with ABI/Sciex mass specs; a software validation consulting service for regulated environments; and a Web-based platform called Smart Center Online for remote system monitoring and diagnosis.
 
Under the terms of the agreement with Agilent, Agilent will provide training, OEM parts, and documentation to ABI field service engineers to enable them to maintain and repair Agilent’s 1100 and 1200 Series HPLC instruments.
 

 
Vermillion Faces Possible Delisting from Nasdaq, Closes on $20.6M Placement
 
Vermillion, formerly known as Ciphergen, said last month that it has received a letter from Nasdaq that it is not in compliance with rules governing minimum requirements to continue being listed on the exchange. It is the second time in little more than a year that the company has faced possible delisting from Nasdaq.
 
According to the company, Nasdaq said that it is in violation of rule 4310(c) stating a company must have a minimum $2.5 million in stockholder’s equity, market capitalization of $35 million, or $500,000 of net income from continuing operations for the most recently completed fiscal year or two of the three most recently completed fiscal years.
 
The company has until Sept. 14 to regain compliance. If Vermillion does not by Sept. 14, Nasdaq can move to delist the company’s stock. In the spring of 2006, Vermillion was threatened by Nasdaq with similar delisting action [See PM 06/29/06].
 
Separately, Vermillion announced last week that it has closed on a private placement of common stock that will net the company $20.6 million in gross proceeds. The placement involved the sale of 24.5 million shares of Vermillion’s common stock and the issuance of warrants for the purchase of 19.6 million additional shares of common stock with an exercise price of $.925 per share.
 
Investors included several accounts managed by OppenheimerFunds, or its controlled affiliates, Quest Diagnostics, and Falcon Technology Partners, a fund affiliated with James Rathmann, Vermillion’s executive chairman. Oppenheimer & Co. acted as the placement agent.
 

 
Not Done with Purchase of Biosite, Inverness to Buy Matritech
 
Fresh off its purchase of Biosite, Inverness Medical Innovations last week said it had reached an agreement to purchase Matritech for about $38 million.
 
Inverness will pay $36 million in shares of its common stock and up to $2 million in cash and/or stock, depending on whether certain revenue targets are met for the 12 months after the close of the deal. Matritech’s board has approved the sale.
 
Matritech develops protein-based diagnostic tests. Its leading product is the NMP22 BladderChek test for bladder cancer. In late July its chairman and CEO, Stephen Chubb, said that the company was in need of a cash infusion “in order to meet our ongoing obligations, including possible cash payments on our outstanding debt.” [See PM 08/02/07]
 
Matritech is currently trying to regain compliance with listing requirement of the American Stock Exchange.
 
In the spring, Inverness agreed to buy diagnostic firm Biosite for $1.5 million.
 

 
Proteros Receives $1.4M from BayBG, Raises Additional $5.7M in Funds
 
Proteros biostructures of Martinsried, Germany, said last month that it has received another investment of €1 million ($1.4 million) from BayBG Bayerische Beteiligungsgesellschaft in Munich. The investment enables the company to acquire an additional €4.2 million ($5.7 million) in financing and research funds, it said in a statement.
 
Proteros, a company specializing in 3D protein structure analysis, will use the funds to expand its service capacity and its fragment screening and protein production areas.
 

 
Applera to Borrow $100M from Bank of America, Buys Back $600M of Shares, Declares ABI Quarterly Dividend
 
Applera, parent company of Applied Biosystems, announced last week that Bank of America agreed to loan it up to $100 million.
 
Separately, Applera said that it had signed an agreement to acquire $600 million worth of Applied Biosystems common stock from investment bank Morgan Stanley.
 
Earlier this month, Applera said that it had increased to $1.2 billion existing authorization to repurchase shares of ABI’s common stock. It also said it anticipated repurchasing $600 million of the shares “as soon as practicable through a tender offer or accelerated share repurchase.” In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Applera said it intends to use the loan from Bank of America along with cash reserves, funds from domestic operations, and other sources to fund the repurchases.
 
The number of shares repurchased is subject to a minimum and maximum based on the volume-weighted average daily price of ABI’s shares over the next approximately seven and a half months. The minimum number of shares will be delivered to the firm within roughly six weeks. Any additional shares will be delivered to Applera over the following six months.
 
Finally, Applera announced a quarterly dividend of $.0425 per share on ABI stock, payable on Oct. 1 to shareholders of record on close of the business day, Sept. 4.
 

 
Proxeon, Matrix Science Sign Co-Marketing Agreement
 
Proxeon last month announced it will integrate and co-market its ProteinCenter software with Matrix Science’s Mascot software in order to help proteomics researchers better evaluate data.
 
The company launched ProteinCenter in 2006 to help researchers learn the “biological relevance” of proteins generated by mass spectrometry. Mascot, meantime, is a search engine for proteomics researchers.
 
Proxeon, based in Odense, Denmark, and Matrix Science, headquartered in London, jointly promoted the integration at the American Society of Mass Spectrometry conference in Indianapolis in June.
 

 
Miraculins Updates Offering Price
 
Miraculins updated the unit price for a previously announced non-brokered private placement to CA$.35 per unit. The offering had been priced at CA$.40 per unit. The company had said in July that it expects up to 1.25 million units to be placed [See PM 07/19/07].
 
The proceeds will be used for R&D and working capital purposes. 
 

 
Power3 to Trade on OTC Bulletin Board
 
Power3 Medical Products said this week that its common stock has began trading on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board under the symbol PWRM.OB.
 
The company, which is using proteomics methods to develop diagnostic tests for breast cancer and neurodegenerative disease, previously traded through the Pink Sheets.
 
CEO Steve Rash said in a statement that the move to the OTC Bulletin Board “will benefit us and our shareholders by increasing the visibility and liquidity of our common stock.”

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.