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Agilent Technology, Applied Biosystems, Serono, Inpharmatica, Proteome Systems, Large Scale Biology


Agilent Life Sciences Unit Orders, Revenue Up 10 Percent in Fiscal Q4

Agilent Technology’s life sciences and chemical analysis unit, which sells the company’s genomics and proteomics product lines, had revenue growth of 10 percent for the quarter ending Oct. 31, the company reported last week.

“LSCA shows few signs of slowing from its recent double-digit growth trend,” the company said in a statement.

Agilent’s Life Sciences and Chemical Analysis unit had $366 million in orders for the quarter, up 10 percent over $333 million for the year-ago period. The unit’s revenues were $352 million, up 10 percent over $321 for the year-ago quarter.

The unit had a profit of $58 million, compared to $53 million for the year-ago period.

Revenue for the life-sciences segment grew 11 percent, while chemical analysis had 9 percent growth year over.

Overall, Agilent orders were down 8 percent for the quarter compared to last year’s period, while revenues were up 9 percent to $1.8 billion from $1.7 billion over the same period last year. Income from operations was $173 million for the quarter, up 42 percent over the $71 million for the year-ago quarter.

The company spent $228 million on research and development in the period, up 5 percent from the $122 million in the year-ago quarter.

Agilent reported cash and cash equivalents of $2.3 billion on hand as of Oct. 31.

Applied Biosystems to Fund Scholarship at Dublin’s Conway Institute

Applied Biosystems and the Dublin-based Conway Institute announced last week the creation of the Applied Biosystems Newman Scholarship to fund a post-doctoral research fellow.

Working out of Conway’s new Proteome Research Center under the supervision of Steve Pennington, a professor of proteomics at Conway, the Newman Scholar will aim to discover and validate biomarkers for early stage prostate cancer, with the hope of developing a diagnostic test for the cancer. The scholar will also investigate cell cycle regulation by calcium signaling at the mRNA and protein level.

Serono Pays Inpharmatica $1.5M As Part of Newly Expanded Proteomics Alliance

Inpharmatica and Serono have expanded for a third time a collaboration to develop secreted proteins using Inpharmatica’s PharmaCarta platform, the firms said this week.

Terms of the expanded deal call for Serono to pay Inpharmatica $1.5 million for granting Serono “additional rights” to Inpharmatica’s protein sequences.

Additionally, Inpharmatica stands to gain undisclosed up-font payments, milestone payments, and royalties from any resulting products, the companies said.The original two-year deal, struck in 2001, was expanded by one year in January 2003, and again for a single year in August 2003.

The recent expansion, which extends the alliance for an additional year, will seek to validate the more than 200 protein sequences the companies have jointly identified.

Proteome Systems Expands Huntington’s Disease Program

Sydney, Australia-based Proteome Systems and the New York-based High Q Foundation announced this week the expansion of its biomarker discovery program for Huntington’s disease. The program seeks to discover biomarkers that can be used in monitoring the onset and progression of Huntington’s disease.

Under an agreement with High Q, Proteome Systems will receive technology access fees and milestone payments for its new, 18-month program, up to a maximum of $3 million.

In a pilot program that began in April, Proteome Systems identified changes in protein expression in a small set of Huntington’s patients. The expanded, 18-month program will apply the company’s technologies to identify new biomarkers for the disease.

LSB Q3 Revenues Plummet 58 Percent As Closure of Contract Proteomics Unit Takes Toll

Large Scale Biology, owner of Predictive Diagnostics, said last week that third-quarter revenue nosedived 58 percent, to $500,000 from $1.2 million one year ago.

LSB attributed the severe decline to the loss of $800,000 in revenues generated during the third quarter of 2003 by its Germantown, Md.-based contract proteomics business, which it closed last November.

The Vacaville, Calif.-based company spent $2.3 million on R&D in the period, down slightly from $2.7 million year over year.

Consequently, net losses for the third quarter narrowed to $4.2 million, or $.13 per share, from $4.3 million, or $.17 per share, in 2003.

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

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.