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Bruker BioSciences, Applied Biosystems, Europroteome, Power3, SurroMed, RoboDesign International


Bruker Expects Revenue Shortfall in Q2

Bruker BioSciences said this week that it estimates a revenue shortfall for the second quarter of this year, causing its stock to lose about 10 percent of its value by Thursday afternoon.

Instead of up to $74 million, Bruker now expects betwen $63 million and $65 million in revenues for the quarter. Based on these new figures, the company anticipates a net loss of $0.03 to $0.05 per share. Frank Laukien, Bruker’s president and CEO, in a company statement, attributed the shortfall to “a lengthening in the time from order booking to customer acceptance.” However, the company said it probably cannot make up the shortfall this year. Nevertheless, its long-term growth goal remains 13-15 percent.

Applied Biosystems to Cut 145 Jobs as Part of Structural Reorganization

Applied Biosystems will be eliminating approximately 145 jobs — about 3.5 percent of its 4,400-person workforce — as part of a structural reorganization plan, the company disclosed in a July 13 US Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

A majority of the layoffs are in R&D, with additional jobs being cut in areas such as sales, manufacturing, and product management, the company said. ABI also said that its Foster City, Calif. headquarters location would be most affected. The layoffs commenced with the July 1 start of ABI’s fiscal year 2005, and are related to a structural reorganization in which the company is creating four new business divisions: Molecular biology; proteomics and small molecules; applied markets; and service. Each of these divisions will have a dedicated president, product development and advanced manufacturing resources, and product line and marketing management, ABI said. The restructuring, according to the SEC filing, is expected to be substantially phased in by the end of the current fiscal quarter (Sept. 30). During its fiscal year 2004, ABI also created an advanced research and technology group. According to Lori Murray, an ABI spokesperson, this unit is responsible for seeking out promising technologies from customers and evaluating their viability as potential new products.

To further this initiative, as part of the current restructuring ABI will be forming another new unit to incubate these technologies and attempt to bring them to market, Murray said. This unit is also anticipated to be in place by Sept. 30, she said.

Europroteome Extends Collaboration with Abbott, Signs New One with Altana

Europroteome, based in Berlin-Hennigsdorf, Germany, announced this week that it has extended a research collaboration with Abbott Laboratories for the discovery and development of novel breast cancer diagnostic tests. The firms extended the collaboration after reaching a project milestone. The extension triggers a milestone payment from Abbott to Europroteome. Under the initial agreement, which was reached in February 2004, Europroteome is applying its proteomic and bioinformatic technologies to analyze serum samples from women with breast cancer. The collected data are matched with a panel of cancer markers provided by Abbott on Abbott’s automated immunoassay platforms. Abbott Park, Ill.-based Abbott made an upfront payment to Europroteome and has an option for a royalty-bearing license to the results from the collaboration. As part of the pact, Abbott will be responsible for commercial assay development and worldwide sales and marketing.

Europroteome said last week it has started a collaboration with Altana Pharma to evaluate approaches to molecular profiling of tissue specimens from cancer patients. Europroteome will apply its proprietary collection of purified cancer cells in this collaboration to analyze molecular expression of panel of cancer targets, which will then be compared with clinical data to assess disease-associated expression signatures. This data will be applied to define molecular targets for the development of therapeutics and diagnostics.

Power3 to Begin Clinical Evaluation of Proteomics-Based Breast Cancer Test

Power3 Medical Products announced last week that clinical evaluation of its proteomics-based early-detection breast cancer test will commence sometime this summer. According to an outside spokesperson for Power3, the company will begin clinical testing at three undisclosed US sites, and that it would likely be able to announce the exact timing of the trials in a few weeks. The test uses proteomics techniques such as electrophoresis image analysis and automated mass spectrometry to analyze nipple aspirate, or breast ductal fluid, for specific groups of breast cancer proteins. The fluid is collected via a non-invasive modified breast pump procedure. Power3 said that the test has the potential to detect breast cancer years earlier than current methods. The company also said it has completed proof-of-concept studies and secured the intellectual property for the test. In May, Power3 acquired proteomics start-up ProteEx, which had been developing the test in collaboration with the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

SurroMed Renews Biomarker Collaboration with Merck

SurroMed has renewed a previously undisclosed biomarker research agreement with Merck, the company said last week. SurroMed, based in Menlo Park, Calif., will analyze preclinical samples provided by Merck using its proteomics platform, and will analyze the data to identify candidate biological markers using its informatics tools. The company’s other biomarker collabor-ations include Biogen, Bruker Daltonics, PPD, InterMune, and Eli Lilly.

RoboDesign Sells Protein Crystal Imaging System to University of Nottingham

RoboDesign International has sold a protein crystal imaging and analysis system to the University of Nottingham in the UK, the company said last week. RoboDesign, based in Carlsbad, Calif., sold its Minstrel I system through its worldwide marketing partner, Rigaku/MSC. The University of Nottingham plans to install the platform, which is designed for protein crystal imaging in any plate type, in September.


The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.