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Bruker BioSciences, Bruker BioSpin, North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Precision Human Biolaboratory, ABRF, Miraculins, GWC Technologies, QPS

Bruker BioSciences Buying Bruker BioSpin, Renaming Itself Bruker
Bruker BioSciences this week said it will buy Bruker BioSpin for $914 million. Privately held BioSpin is owned by the Laukien family, who also owns 52 percent of Bruker BioSciences. Upon completion of the deal, the Laukien family will own 69 percent of the new firm, to be called Bruker.
Frank Laukien is president and CEO of Bruker BioSciences and will assume both roles with the combined company.
The $914 million price tag will be paid with $388 million in cash and $526 million in Bruker BioSciences stock. The deal is expected to close in early 2008, the companies said in a statement. The newly combined firm will have 3,700 employees.
The transaction is anticipated to be “highly accretive” for Bruker BioSciences and to “significantly” improve its operating margin and cash flow, it said. The combined company is expected to generate revenue-related synergies and modest cost and expense synergies “through better sourcing efficiencies and shared administrative functions,” the companies said.
In 2006, Bruker BioSpin recorded a profit of $56.6 million on receipts of $447 million. For the first nine months of 2007, it posted a profit of $43.5 million on $351.9 million in revenue.
During the third quarter, Bruker BioSciences posted profits of $8.7 million on $131.6 million in revenue.
Bruker BioSciences is currently made up of Bruker Daltonics, which houses its proteomics tools; Bruker AXS; and Bruker Optics. Bruker BioSpin designs, manufactures, and distributes systems based on magnetic resonance core technology. Its platforms include nuclear magnetic resonance, electron paramagnetic resonance, research MRI, and superconducting magnets and wires.
Upon completion of the deal, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, two new board members will be added to the company, Dirk Laukien, president of Bruker Optics, and Tony Keller, executive chairman and former CEO of Bruker BioSpin.
Bear, Stearns advised a special committee of the Bruker BioSciences board of directors on the transaction. Dewey & LeBoeuf served as legal advisers.

North Carolina Biotech Fund Gives PHB $250,000 in Start-up Financing
The North Carolina Biotechnology Center said this week it has awarded Precision Human Biolaboratory $250,000 for the development of a biomarker-based blood test for major depression.
The award is the maximum available under the Biotechnology Center’s Strategic Growth Loan program, established last year to fund new biotechnology companies in North Carolina. KI Investment Holdings provided matching funding. The Biotechnology Center’s SGL program requires a matching loan or investment from a venture capital or angel investor.
PHB is developing a diagnostic platform that identifies biomarkers in blood. The platform includes a sensor chip to capture biomarkers and an instrument to analyze the chip’s signals and process the resulting data.
The company has patent applications covering its chip technology and proprietary measurement technology, as well as applications covering multiple biomarker diagnostic methods and applications of label-free protein array technology.

ABRF’s iPRG Extends Deadline for Study Participation
The Proteome Informatics Research Group of the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities has extended the deadline for participation in a study evaluating the ability of proteomics laboratories to identify a complex mixture of proteins in a single mass spectral dataset [See PM 11/08/07].
The deadline has been pushed to Dec. 7. In an announcement, Sean Seymour, the iPRG chairman, said it had received “reasonable” response, but feels that the results “will be more meaningful if we can increase participation a bit more.” In particular, the group is seeking more core laboratories to be part of the study.
Those interested should send a request for participation to [email protected].

Diagnos Developing Algorithm for Miraculins’ Cancer Dx
Miraculins said this week it will use Diagnos’ services to interpret data generated during Miraculins’ cancer diagnostic discovery research.
Diagnos specializes in using artificial intelligence and advanced knowledge extraction techniques. It will use its proprietary technology to develop and test algorithms to develop a diagnostic test “with the highest possible sensitivity and specificity, resulting in few false positives and false negatives,” Miraculins said in a statement.
Under the terms of the agreement, Miraculins will pay Diagnos a consulting fee of up to $30,000 to review data and develop the algorithms. If Diagnos develops an algorithm used by Miraculins, it will receive a royalty payment of 5 percent of the actual gross commercial sales received by Miraculins per test. Diagnos will also be granted 50,000 stock options, subject to regulatory approval.

GWC, Biolab Ink Distribution Deal for Scandinavia
GWC Technologies said this week it has signed on Biolab as the exclusive distributor of GWC’s label-free array systems in Scandinavia.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In Quest of New ID, Company Changes Name to QPS, Acquires Bio-Kinetic
Quest Pharmaceuticals has changed its name to QPS, it said this week. The contract research organization provides services in protein biomarkers, protein binding, genomic biomarkers, immunogenicity testing, ADME, in vivo and in vitro drug metabolism, and other areas.
The company also said it merged with Bio-Kinetic Clinical Applications, an early clinical research organization based in Springfield, Mo. Bio-Kinetic will retain its name and operate as a wholly-owned unit of QPS.
Bio-Kinetic shareholders will receive “membership interests” in QPS. Other financial details about the transaction were not disclosed.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.