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Agilent, BG Medicine, Copenhagen General Population Study, Invitrogen, Luminex, Vanderbilt, Waters, Sigma-Aldrich, Qiagen, Center for Molecular Medicine, Cell Signaling Technology, AstraZeneca, UVP, Nonlinear Dynamics, Axela

Agilent Income Shrinks 20 Percent, Though Life Sciences Revs Rise 24 Percent
Despite a 15 percent growth in the division housing its proteomics business and an overall 9 percent growth in receipts, Agilent Technologies this week said profits for its fiscal first quarter shrank 20 percent.
Overall, for the three months ended Jan. 31, receipts reached $1.39 billion, up from $1.28 billion a year ago. Revenues for its Bio-Analytical Measurements segment, which contains its proteomics instruments and consumables, rose to $557 million from $484 million a year ago. Excluding the acquisition of Stratagene, which contributed $24 million in revenue, receipts for Bio-Analytical Measurements rose 10 percent year over year.
Company-wide profits shrank 20 percent to $120 million from $150 million a year ago. Included in the most current figure is $30 million in share-based compensation expenses.
Life Sciences revenues rose to $241 million, up 24 percent from a year ago, or up 11 percent excluding the Stratagene acquisition. The pharma and biotech markets, up 11 percent, were mixed, the company said, with relative weakness in the US and sustained strength in Asia.
The company spent $181 million on R&D for the quarter. As of Jan. 31, Agilent had cash and cash equivalents of $1.39 billion.

BG Medicine, Copenhagen General Population Study Collaborate on Biomarker Study
BG Medicine announced this week a collaboration with the Copenhagen General Population Study for the discovery and validation of novel cardiovascular biomarkers, including predictive ones for rupture of atherosclerotic plaque and myocardial infarction.
BG Medicine’s proprietary proteomic and metabolomic discovery platforms will be used under the agreement. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
The research is expected to begin in March and will be part of BG Medicine’s High Risk Plaque initiative to “discover and develop improved techniques for identifying individuals at risk for heart attacks and the advancement of methods to monitor cardiac disease progression and response to treatment,” the company said in a statement.

Invitrogen, Luminex Extend Deal
Invitrogen announced this week a renewal and expansion of its license and supply agreement for Luminex’s multiplexed analyted detection technology and systems. Under the new, extended agreement, Invitrogen will have access to Luminex’s next-generation multiplex detection platforms.
Invitrogen offers more than 200 assays based on Luminex’s xMAP technology, comprising “the most comprehensive multiplex protein assay menu in life sciences for cellular pathway and disease analysis,” Invitrogen said in a statement.
Financial terms of the deal were not revealed.

Vanderbilt MS Center Using Waters for Cancer Research
The Vanderbilt University Medical Center will use Waters’ MALDI Synapt HDMS system for oncology research within the university’s Mass Spectrometry Research Center under a collaboration announced this week.
Researchers are focused on “novel mass spectrometry approaches to identify and visualize protein expression changes in cells as they transition from a healthy state through various stages of cancer,” Waters said in a statement.
“Ultimately, we hope that enhanced tissue imaging techniques will provide data sets to be mined for diagnostic and prognostic information related to the various stages of cancer,” Richard Caprioli, director of the Mass Spectrometry Research Center at the university, said in a statement.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Sigma-Aldrich Q4 Revs Up 14.6 Percent, Profits Rise 18.6 Percent
Sigma-Aldrich reported this week that its fourth-quarter revenues rose 14.6 percent and reached a quarterly high, while profits climbed 18.6 percent for the three-month period ended Dec. 31.
The diversified provider of chemicals, genomic research, and biotech products reported fourth-quarter revenues of $532.1 million compared to revenues of $464.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2006. Organic revenue growth was 5.5 percent, while currency effects added 6.8 percent and acquisitions added 2.3 percent to growth.
Sales for the firm’s Research Specialties unit grew 15.5 percent year over year to $199.4 million; Research Essentials’ sales grew 11.8 percent to $98.4 million; Research Biotech sales increased 11.3 percent to $78.6 million; and sales from the firm’s SAFC unit rose 16.8 percent to $155.7 million.
Sigma-Aldrich posted a profit of $84.9 million, up from $71.6 million in the year-ago period.
The firm’s R&D expenses climbed 18 percent to $15.7 million from $13.3 million.
For full-year 2007, Sigma-Aldrich brought in revenues of $2.04 billion, the first time the firm has eclipsed the $2 billion quarterly sales mark, and 13.3 percent higher than 2006 revenues of $1.8 billion.
Net income for the full year rose 12.4 percent to $311.1 million, from $276.8 million in 2006.
R&D expenses for 2007 increased 12.1 percent to $59.3 million from $52.9 million, while SG&A costs climbed 11.3 percent to $517.1 million from $464.6 million.
Sigma-Aldrich finished the year with $237.6 million in cash and cash equivalents.
The firm expects to report 7 percent organic revenue growth for 2008.

Qiagen, CMM Collaborate on Biomarkers
Qiagen and the Center for Molecular Medicine announced a collaboration this week for the discovery of biomarkers related to breast cancer and other women’s health issues.
The CMM will provide access to clinical samples, molecular analysis capabilities, and XenoBase, a software and database system. Based on the result of Qiagen’s initial research, the CMM may provide laboratory-based genomics and proteomics services to Qiagen in the development and validation of new molecular diagnostic tests.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

CST, AstraZeneca Reach Another Agreement
AstraZeneca will continue to use Cell Signaling Technology’s PhosphoScan technology under a fourth agreement reached between the two companies announced this week.
Under the agreement AstraZeneca will continue to use CST’s platform to identify phosphorylation profiles and prospective biomarkers of kinase targeted lead compounds.
The companies did not disclose the financial details of their agreement.

UVP, Nonlinear Dynamics Ink Sales, Distribution Deal
UVP will promote and supply Nonlinear Dynamics’ SameSpots Analysis Software under an agreement between the two companies announced this week.
Last month, UVP launched its BioSpectrum 800 Imaging System with SameSpots software. UVP will promote the software through its direct sales force and worldwide distribution network.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Axela, Just Axela
Axela Biosensors last week announced a name change to just Axela. The change reflects “the broad range of applications and markets served by its technology beyond traditional biosensing,” the company said in a statement.
It core protein characterization and biomolecular interaction monitoring platform is the dotLab System, launched in 2006. Axela said last week that it has established operations in a GMP/GLP facility in Foster City, Calif., to hasten development of real-time multiplex immunoassay kits for the system.

The Scan

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.

Team Presents Cattle Genotype-Tissue Expression Atlas

Using RNA sequences representing thousands of cattle samples, researchers looked at relationships between cattle genotype and tissue expression in Nature Genetics.

Researchers Map Recombination in Khoe-San Population

With whole-genome sequences for dozens of individuals from the Nama population, researchers saw in Genome Biology fine-scale recombination patterns that clustered outside of other populations.

Myotonic Dystrophy Repeat Detected in Family Genome Sequencing Analysis

While sequencing individuals from a multi-generation family, researchers identified a myotonic dystrophy type 2-related short tandem repeat in the European Journal of Human Genetics.