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Ciphergen, Nasdaq, Caprion, ICOS, Proteomic Research Services, Beckman Coulter, Expression Pathology, Techcomp, Boehringer Ingelheim, Hudson Control Group, Thermo, MorphoSys, Serotec, Vitro, PhosphoSolutions


Ciphergen Improperly Filed Quest Alliance With Nasdaq, Failed to Obtain Investor Approval

Ciphergen Biosystems has received a deficiency notification from the Nasdaq National Market indicating that the company failed to comply with the continued listing requirements of the exchange, the company said late last week.

According to Ciphergen, the Nasdaq said the company did not file a listing notification and obtain shareholder approval for its July 22, 2005, stock sale to Quest Diagnostics. As ProteoMonitor reported at the time, a part of an R&D alliance between the two companies called for Ciphergen to sell Quest around 6.2 million shares of stock along with a warrant to purchase 2.2 million additional shares. The combined sale would give Quest a 17-percent stake in Ciphergen.

Ciphergen said the Nasdaq indicated that it believes the Quest deal "constituted a change of control which required shareholder approval because the number of shares purchased by Quest, together with the number of shares potentially issuable upon exercise of the warrant, could exceed 20 percent of the total number of outstanding shares of common stock" of Ciphergen.

Ciphergen said that the arrangement provides that Quest will not own more than 19.9 percent of Ciphergen.

Ciphergen said it has until Jan. 17 to present its opinion on the matter to Nasdaq.

Caprion and ICOS Sign Protein Biomarker-Discovery Deal

Caprion Pharmaceuticals said this week that it will collaborate with ICOS to identify pharmacodynamic markers in plasma using its CellCarta proteomics platform.

Bothell, Wash.-based ICOS will use the research in its preclinical oncology programs, according to a statement.

The agreement builds upon a collaboration that Caprion and ICOS entered last March related to tumor antigen target discovery.

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Proteomic Research Services Pens Mass Spec Deals with Beckman Coulter, Expression Pathology

Proteomics Research Services will provide Beckman Coulter's ProteomeLab PF 2D customers access to its mass spec-based protein ID and characterization services, the company said this week.

Separately, PRS will provide customers of Expression Pathology's Liquid Tissue MS Protein Prep with its protein ID services.

Financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

Techcomp to Distribute Ciphergen Products in China, Southeast Asia; Firms Pen Product-Development Alliance

Ciphergen has signed a distribution and marketing agreement with Shanghai, China-based Techcomp, Ciphergen said this week.

Under the terms of the agreement, Techcomp will distribute Ciphergen's ProteinChip family of products in China (excluding Taiwan), Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

In addition, Ciphergen and Techcomp have entered into a product development and manufacturing agreement for sample preparation technology and "an associated device." The resulting product would be manufactured by Techcomp and sold by Ciphergen worldwide, Ciphergen said.

Boehringer Ingelheim to Buy ProLink Protein Expression Workcell from Hudson Control Group

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceutical's research group has bought a protein-expression workcell from Hudson Control Group, Hudson said this week.

Boehringer will begin using the ProLink in the second quarter to automate such tasks as colony picking, DNA minipreps, and protein purification, said Hudson.

Financial details were not released.

Thermo Electron Opens Local Help Desk in China

Thermo Electron this week announced its first local customer support help desk in China for its informatics offerings.

The help desk is part of the company's 4,000-square-meter customer service and laboratory demonstration center in Shanghai and will provide local support to customers in the Asia-Pacific region on LIMS and CDS solutions.

MorphoSys Acquires Serotec for $35.3M, Expanding Research Antibody Line

Antibody company MorphoSys has acquired privately held Serotec, an Oxford, England-based supplier of antibodies for research applications, the companies said last week.

Munich, Germany-based MorphoSys will pay a total of £20 million ($35.3 million) for Serotec, with £14 million of that amount paid in cash and the remainder paid through the issuance of 208,560 new shares, the companies said.

Serotec will become a subsidiary of MorphoSys and will continue to sell its products to the research market, according to the statement. The acquisition, which is intended to expand the company's research antibody business, will give MorphoSys a distribution network in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Scandinavia, the companies said.

MorphoSys' January 2005 acquisition of Biogenesis was also intended to expand its research antibody business.

Vitro and PhosphoSolutions Collaborate to Study Stem Cell Proteomics

Vitro Diagnostics and PhosphoSolutions will collaborate on stem cell research, Vitro Diagnostics said last week.

The collaboration aims to investigate intracellular signaling mechanisms involved with regulation of stem cell growth and differentiation.

Early investigations by Vitro and PhosphoSolutions provided evidence suggesting interaction between key regulatory pathways through phosphorylation.

Vitro has developed methodologies to induce differentiation of functional human beta cells from adult pancreatic stem cell lines. PhosphoSolutions makes antibodies which can discriminate a target protein based on its phosphorylation state.

Agilent to Restate 2004 Financials; Net Income Increased $20M

Agilent this week said that it would restate its 2004 financial results due to an accounting error. The restatement decreases the firm's provision for income taxes for fiscal 2004 and the quarter ended Oct. 31, 2004, by $20 million, and increases the firm's net income by $20 million, or $.04 per diluted share.

The company said that it miscalculated or understated its estimate of US jurisdictional loss during the preparation of its financial statements for fiscal 2004. Agilent said the error was identified through its internal control over financing during 2005, and it has included the restatement in its annual report and form 10-K for fiscal 2005, which was filed this week.

Before the restatement, Agilent had reported fiscal fourth-quarter 2004 revenue of $1.8 billion, a 9-percent gain over revenue of $1.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2003. Agilent's fourth-quarter net income increased to $74 million, or $.15 per share, from $13 million, or $.03 per share, year over year.

For its fiscal year ended Oct. 31, 2004, Agilent had reported revenue of $7.2 billion, compared to $6.1 billion in fiscal 2003. Net income increased to $349 million, or $.72 per share, compared to a loss of $2 billion, or $4.35 per share, in fiscal 2003.

The Scan

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.

Team Presents Cattle Genotype-Tissue Expression Atlas

Using RNA sequences representing thousands of cattle samples, researchers looked at relationships between cattle genotype and tissue expression in Nature Genetics.

Researchers Map Recombination in Khoe-San Population

With whole-genome sequences for dozens of individuals from the Nama population, researchers saw in Genome Biology fine-scale recombination patterns that clustered outside of other populations.

Myotonic Dystrophy Repeat Detected in Family Genome Sequencing Analysis

While sequencing individuals from a multi-generation family, researchers identified a myotonic dystrophy type 2-related short tandem repeat in the European Journal of Human Genetics.