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Bruker BioSciences to Buy Molecular Spectroscopy Business Bruker Optics for $135M

Bruker BioSciences plans to pay $135 million to buy all of the shares of privately held molecular spectroscopy company Bruker Optics, Bruker said this week.

The acquisition will enable Bruker BioSciences to sell mass spectrometry, X-ray-analysis, and now molecular spectroscopy platforms for proteomics as well as chemical and materials analysis, the company said.

The deal will give Bruker BioSciences "access to some fast-growing new market segments and applications," President and CEO Frank Laukien said in a statement. He singled out Optics' pharmaceutical process analytical technologies and pharma forensics plays.

He said the acquisition will increase by more than $700 million the market in which Bruker BioSciences participates.

Five undisclosed members of the Laukien family who currently own approximately 58 percent of Bruker BioSciences also own 98 percent of Bruker Optics' stock, making the acquisition a "related-party transaction." The Laukien shareholders will accept "various combinations" of cash and Bruker BioSciences stock for their Bruker Optics shares, the company said.

The Optics business, based near Bruker BioSciences in Billerica, Mass., develops, manufactures, and sells research, analytical and process-analysis instruments based on Fourier Transform infrared and near-infrared technology, and on FT and dispersive Raman spectroscopy.

In addition, the company exclusively distributes bench-top non-FT nuclear magnetic resonance instruments made by affiliate Bruker BioSpin.

Terms of the deal call for Bruker BioSciences to pay 59 percent, or $79.2 million, of the selling price in cash and 41 percent, or $55.8 million, in stock. The acquisition has been approved by both companies at the board level or by a "special committee" of directors.

Once the acquisition closes, Bruker Optics will become a Bruker BioSciences operating company, joining Bruker Daltonics and Bruker AXS. Dirk Laukien will continue to manage the business.

Bruker Optics has research and manufacturing facilities near Karlsruhe, Germany, and Houston, as well as "numerous" international sales, applications, and service offices.

In 2005, Bruker Optics recorded $78.7 million in total revenue and a $6.3 million net profit, the company said. As of Dec. 31, 2005, the company had around $4.3 million in cash.

"The combined company will benefit from a more diversified industrial customer base in the pharma/biotech, diagnostic, food & beverage, semiconductor, advanced materials and raw materials industries, as well as among academic, medical school, homeland security and governmental customers," Dan Klevisha, vice president of Bruker Optics, said in the statement. "We believe that we can leverage sales and marketing synergies from the resulting three Bruker BioSciences operating companies for incremental growth in several industrial applications."


Invitrogen Reports Increased Q1 Revenues Despite Soft Sales

Invitrogen this week announced preliminary first-quarter financial results, posting a 12-percent jump in revenues despite sales coming in 3 percent lower than expected.

Invitrogen said revenues in the quarter were $309 million amid slower-than-anticipated sales in the company's US Bioproduction and Japan businesses.

Pro forma earnings per share for the first quarter of 2006 were slightly higher than anticipated due to improved mix, lower royalty expense and lower share count, Invitrogen said.

Looking ahead, Invitrogen said that it is widening its full year revenue guidance to a range of $1.3 billion to $1.355 billion due to first quarter performance and the anticipated discontinuation and sale of certain minor business units.

Previously, the company projected that full-year 2006 revenues would be $1.33 billion to $1.355 billion.

Pro forma earnings per share guidance remains unchanged with a range of $3.90 to $4.10.

Additional first-quarter results will be provided during a conference call on April 27.


Nanogen to Buy Italian Dx Shop for $10M, Will Form New Dx Division for Euro, Mid-East, Asian Markets

Nanogen will acquire the diagnostics division of Italy-based Amplimedical for €8.1 million ($10 million) in cash and stock, the company said this week.

Amplimedical, a wholly owned subsidiary of hearing aid manufacturer Amplifon, plays in the real-time PCR and other molecular diagnostic markets with regulatory-approved products, and Nanogen hopes to align its technologies with its MGB Alert real-time PCR systems to expand its molecular diagnostics footprint.

"Acquiring the ability to reach a broader European customer base constitutes an exciting opportunity that will further Nanogen's growth and progress toward profitability," Nanogen Chairman and CEO Howard Birndorf said in a statement.

The companies have worked together in the past to develop multiplexed reagent kits that are sold in Europe, including a CE/IVD-marked set of reagents to detect mutations in the GJB2 gene for the diagnosis of hereditary deafness and a research-use-only set of reagents to test for genetic causes of beta thalassemia.

Nanogen plans to continue to offer the current Amplimedical products in Italy and will begin exporting them to the European and Middle East markets, and will explore opportunities to use Amplimedical's expertise for the development and further commercialization of new European diagnostic products.

As a result of the deal, which is expected to close May 1, Amplimedical diagnostics business will be merged with Nanogen's existing European operations to form Nanogen Advanced Diagnostics. This new division, which will be based in Milan and Buttigliera Alta, Italy, is expected to become "the focal point for Nanogen's operations" in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and India.

Amplimedical's diagnostics division generated approximately €7 million in revenues in 2005. For the past five years, the company has distributed Nanogen's NanoChip molecular biology workstation and NanoChip 400 instrument systems in Italy.

Nanogen will pay for the assets with €2 million in cash and €6.1 million in a promissory note convertible into Nanogen common shares, Nanogen said.


Agilent to Invest $25M in India Through '08; Will Expand R&D Staff, Build New Facility

Agilent Technologies plans to invest $25 million in India over the next two years, CEO Bill Sullivan said last week, according to a news report.

Sullivan also said Agilent will build a new campus in the country by 2008, and plans to hire an additional 800 staffers at its facility in Gurgaon, located outside New Delhi. Most of these hires will be in R&D; the facility currently employs around 200 R&D staffers, Reuters reported yesterday from New Delhi.

Sullivan, who spoke to reporters at a press conference in that city, also said he expects revenue generated in the country to triple in two-three years, according to Reuters. Agilent's India operations generated $100 million in 2005, which represented a 30-percent improvement over 2004, the report said.

Agilent's plans reflect a growing trend among large multi-platform tool vendors, which, like many other kinds of companies, believe markets in Asia, especially India and China, will help them grow revenue.

Most recently, Sigma-Aldrich has increased its operations in Shanghai, China, and acquired Beijing Superior Chemicals and Instruments; PerkinElmer has opened a new technology center in that city and will consolidate three existing facilities there; and Thermo Electron opened a customer demonstration laboratory in Mumbai, India.


Affymetrix President Siegel Steps Down; No Replacement Named

Susan Siegel has resigned as president of Affymetrix, the company said this week.

The company also said that "effective immediately," Thane Kreiner, vice president of corporate affairs, has been named senior vice president of marketing and sales.

Affymetrix said Siegel will be "transitioning from her current role" and will represent the company as president emeritus. Affy said she will stay on as an advisor and continue to report to Chairman and CEO Stephen Fodor.

It was not immediately clear why Siegel stepped down, whether the resignation takes immediate effect, or whether Kreiner's role will overlap her duties. Also not clear is whether Affy has begun looking for a replacement.

An Affymetrix spokesman said the company will "address these questions when we're ready, at the appropriate time."

Siegel joined Affymetrix in 1998 as senior vice president of sales and marketing — the same title to which Kreiner was now promoted. Affy named her president in 1999 and appointed her to the board two years later.


Beckman Coulter Declares $0.15 Quarterly Dividend

Beckman Coulter's board of directors has declared a quarterly dividend payout of $0.15 per share, the company said this week.

The dividend is payable on June 8 to all stockholders of record on May 19.

The company said this represents its 68th consecutive quarterly dividend payout.


Aussie Proteomic Center Adds Nonlinear Dynamics' SameSpots Approach to Capabilities

The Australian Proteome Analysis Facility has adopted Nonlinear Dynamics' SameSpots bioinformatics approach to 2D gel image analysis, Nonlinear Dynamics said this week.

Nonlinear said APAF was able to add the approach to its toolbox by investing in Nonlinear's TT900 S2S software and upgrading its installed Progenesis PG240 software, which is also provided by Nonlinear.

According to Nonlinear, the SameSpots approach enables users to match across any size experiment with no missing values within the data, as well as to generate 2D proteomics data.

Financial details were not discussed.


Rosetta, Sage-N Research to Integrate Data-Management Tools

Rosetta Biosoftware and Sage-N Research announced this week that they have agreed to make two of their respective data-management and -analysis platforms interoperable.

Specifically, Rosetta and Sage-N will make Rosetta's Elucidator system, which is capable of managing and analyzing proteomic data and identifying differentially expressed proteins, compatible with Sage-N's Sorcerer system, which provides processing throughput for protein identification.

The companies said that the benefits of the integration should be immediately available to joint customers of the Sorcerer and Elucidator systems.

Sage-N Research and Rosetta Biosoftware also said they intend to collaborate in supporting the combined systems for customers.


Genzyme Gives Boston Museum of Science $2M for Biotechnology Education

Genzyme is contributing $2 million to the Museum of Science in Boston to support a biotechnology education initiative.

The company expects the Genzyme Biotechnology Education Initiative to include material related to genomics, proteomics, microarrays, and other new technologies, but discussions are only just beginning, a Genzyme spokesperson said last week.

The initiative will include K-12 science and technology curricula, educational fora, professional development workshops for teachers, presentations for school groups, lectures, and web-based resources, as well as interactive exhibits at the Museum of Science, according to a statement from the organization.


GE Healthcare's Q1 Revenues Climb 10 Percent as Profit Grows 21 Percent

GE Healthcare's revenues for the first quarter of 2006 climbed 10 percent, and the segment's earnings increased 21 percent, General Electric reported last week.

For the quarter ending March 31, GE Healthcare had $3.7 billion in revenues, up from $3.3 billion during the same quarter in 2005.

GE Healthcare's earnings for the quarter amounted to $496 million, up from $409 million in the first quarter of 2005.

General Electric's total revenues for the quarter were $23.5 billion, up from $21.4 billion during the same period last year. The company reported $4.3 billion, or $.41 per share, in total earnings for the quarter, up from $4 billion, or $.37 per share, during the same quarter in 2005.

GE Healthcare did not break out its research and development expenses for the quarter.

As of March 31, GE had $53.6 billion in cash and marketable securities.


Scynexis Expands ACD Processing Tools Installation

Scynexis, a drug-discovery and -development company, has expanded its installation of Advanced Chemistry Development's ACD/1D NMR Processor, the companies said this week.

The expanded nuclear magnetic resonance processing capabilities have been added to Scynexis' research facility in Research Triangle Park, NC, the companies said.

ACD claims that the tool eases the interpretation of NMR data through multiplet analysis, verification, and quantitation techniques, cutting NMR interpretation and dissemination times.

Financial details were not discussed.

The Scan

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.