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Applied Biosystems, ABRF, Plexera, Fluorotechnics, Olink, PerkinElmer

ABI MS Sales Inch up 1 Percent, Total Revs Climb 6 percent
Applied Biosystems’ mass spec sales rose just 1 percent during its fiscal second quarter, the company said this week, continuing a recent trend of slow growth in that part of the company’s business.
During the quarter ended Dec. 31, sales of the instruments totaled $137.6 million, up from $135.9 million during the year-ago period. The year-ago figure represented 14 percent growth. After four consecutive quarters of double-digit growth in mass spec sales ended during the summer, ABI has seen mass spec growth progressively decelerate.
Overall, the company’s receipts grew 6 percent to $561.9 million from $530 million a year ago. Profits rose 15.4 percent to $86.3 million from $74.8 million.
R&D spending shrunk 12.8 percent to $44.4 million. The company had $355.9 million in cash and cash equivalents as of Dec. 31.
While no decision has been made concerning its exploration of a new corporate structure, the management of Applera, ABI’s parent firm, reiterated that it expects to file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission by the end of the current quarter to finalize a split of ABI and Celera into two independent, publicly traded companies+. The split could happen by June 30, the end of its 2008 fiscal year.
Applera declared this week a quarterly dividend of $0.0425 per share on Applied Biosystems common stock. The dividend is payable on April 1 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on March 3.

ABRF Seeking Survey Respondents
The Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities’ Molecular Interactions Research Group is inviting researchers to participate in its survey of instrument usage and experimental practices for label-free technologies used in laboratories.
Results will be presented at ABRF’s annual conference in February. The survey can be accessed here.


Plexera Places Prototype Instrument with Rx Firm
Plexera Bioscience said this week it shipped the first non-commercial version of the Plexera K(X)5 Analyzer to an unnamed drug company for evaluation.
The pharmaceutical firm is part of Plexera’s Early Access Partner program and will have 90 days following installation to evaluate the K(X)5 platform as a tool for screening and characterizing antibody libraries, Plexera said in a statement. Pending positive evaluation results, the drug firm has agreed to purchase a commercial version of the instrument.
Plexera, a proteomics tools shop spun out by Lumera during the summer, intends to formally launch the K(X)5 Analyzer in May. The instrument is a component of the Plexera K(X)5 System for multiplexed, label-free kinetic analysis of biomolecular interactions.

Fluortechnics, Wako Reach Distribution Agreement for Japanese Market
Australian biotech firm Fluorotechnics this week announced a sales and marketing partnership with Wako Pure Chemical Industries of Japan.
Under terms of the agreement, Wako will sell Fluorotechnics products including fluorescence-based kits for the staining, detection, and quantification of proteins and peptides in gels, solution, and on blots, and new technologies for protease monitoring and intracellular imaging of live cells.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Nacalai Distributing Olink’s Duolink Goods in Japan
Nacalai Tesque and its subsidiary Nacalai USA will distribute and service Olink Bioscience’s Duolink products in Japan under a distribution agreement announced this week.
Nacalai USA, based in San Diego, is the American subsidiary of Nacalai Tesque, based in Kyoto. Olink is headquartered in Uppsala, Sweden. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
Duolink is based on Olink’s proprietary in situ Proximity Ligation Assay technology, which allows researchers to visualize, localize, and quantify endogenous protein interactions and modifications using standard fluorescence microscopy.

PerkinElmer Declares Dividend
PerkinElmer this week declared a quarterly dividend of $.07 per share of common stock payable to all shareholders of record as of the close of business on April 8. The dividend is payable on May 9.

The Scan

Expanded Genetic Testing Uncovers Hereditary Cancer Risk in Significant Subset of Cancer Patients

In Genome Medicine, researchers found pathogenic or likely pathogenic hereditary cancer risk variants in close to 17 percent of the 17,523 patients profiled with expanded germline genetic testing.

Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy Embryos Appear Largely Normal in Single-Cell 'Omics Analyses

Embryos produced with spindle transfer-based mitochondrial replacement had delayed demethylation, but typical aneuploidy and transcriptome features in a PLOS Biology study.

Cancer Patients Report Quality of Life Benefits for Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

Immune checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy was linked in JAMA Network Open to enhanced quality of life compared to other treatment types in cancer patients.

Researchers Compare WGS, Exome Sequencing-Based Mendelian Disease Diagnosis

Investigators find a diagnostic edge for whole-genome sequencing, while highlighting the cost advantages and improving diagnostic rate of exome sequencing in EJHG.