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Genedata, GeneBio, Thermo Electron, PerkinElmer, Bruker AXS, Sigma-Aldrich, BG Medicine, FDA, Waters, Protein Discovery, Tecan, Invitrogen


Genedata and GeneBio to Integrate Proteomics-Analysis Tools

Genedata is integrating its Genedata Expressionist tool with Geneva Bioinformatics' Melanie/ImageMaster 2D Platinum tool, Genedata said this week.

The Expressionist software automates analysis from sample validation to biological interpretation and results management. With the Melanie two-dimensional gel-electrophoresis analysis, researchers can automate proteomics data analysis.

The companies plan to eventually incorporate the Expressionist tool with GeneBio's Phenyx mass spectrometry data-analysis platform, said Nasri Nahas, GeneBio's chief executive officer, in a statement.

New Products, Acquisitions Drive 25-Percent Q3 Revenue Growth for Thermo Electron

Thermo Electron this week reported a 25-percent increase in third-quarter revenue, but a drop in net income.

The company posted revenue of $679 million in the third quarter of 2005, compared with $542 million in 2004, including a 20-percent increase from acquisitions, Thermo Electron said.

Marijn Dekkers, president and CEO of Thermo Electron, said in a statement that the company's LTQ Orbitrap mass spectrometer, introduced last quarter, "is already contributing to growth." He added that the quarter's revenues "were also fueled by strategic acquisitions made earlier in the year — a record investment for Thermo that has created significant opportunities for growth."

Thermo's Life and Laboratory Sciences segment posted a revenue of $516 million for the quarter, a 35-percent increase over $383 million in the third quarter of 2004.

Thermo Electron posted net income of $57.7 million for the quarter, down sharply from $106.5 million in the year-ago period, which included a gain from discontinued operations.

The company posted R&D expenses of $38.8 million for the third quarter, up from $32.9 million in the comparable period of 2004.

As of Oct. 1, Thermo held cash and cash equivalents of $193.5 million.

PerkinElmer's Life and Analytical Sciences Business Posts 6-Percent Q3 Revenue Growth

PerkinElmer's Life and Analytical Sciences business unit reported revenue of $259.1 million for the third quarter of 2005, up 6 percent from $243.7 million in the third quarter of 2004, the company said this week.

The company attributed the growth of this business to its genetic screening, service, and environmental businesses.

PerkinElmer posted total third-quarter 2005 revenue of $361.9 million, a 6 percent increase over $341.6 million in the third quarter of 2004.

Earlier this month, the company said it planned to divest its Fluid Sciences business in order to focus on the health science market, which was responsible for 81 percent of PerkinElmer's total revenues for the quarter.

PerkinElmer reported net income of $31.8 million, a 32-percent increase over $24 million in the third quarter of 2004.

The company reported earnings per share of $.20, an increase of 43 percent over earnings per share of $.14 in the prior-year period.

PerkinElmer spent $21.8 million on R&D during the third quarter of 2005, up slightly from $20.4 million in the comparable period of 2004.

As of Oct. 2, PerkinElmer had cash and cash equivalents of $166.1 million.

Bruker AXS Adds to Roentec Purchase with PGT's X-ray Microanalysis Business

Bruker AXS said this week that it plans to acquire Princeton Gamma-Tech Instruments' X-ray microanalysis business.

The company said that it expects it to close the acquisition in the fourth quarter of 2005. Under terms of the acquisition, Bruker AXS will pay an aggregate sum of $1,885,000, to PGT. Of that sum, $435,000 will be held in escrow for 12 months pending the satisfaction of a non-competition and non-solicitation covenant.

The PGT X-ray microanalysis business had annual revenues of between $5 million and $6 million, Bruker AXS said.

The acquisition marks the second X-ray microanalysis firm that the company plans to acquire before the end of the year. Earlier this month, Bruker AXS said it would acquire Roentec, a German X-ray microanalysis instrument company, for an undisclosed amount. Roentec, based in Berlin, generates between $6 million and $7 million in annual revenues.

After the transactions close, Bruker AXS plans to combine Roentec and the PGT microanalysis business into a new business called the Bruker AXS Microanalysis Group. This business will focus on the global X-ray microanalysis market, which the company said is worth around $150 million per year.

Roger Durst, executive vice president at Bruker AXS, said in a statement that both Roentec and PGT have "excellent technology" and a strong customer base, but "both companies also have been distribution-limited and at a size disadvantage relative to their larger competitors."

Sigma-Aldrich Posts 21-Percent Sales Growth in Q3 as Profit Surges 16 Percent

Sigma-Aldrich this week reported revenue of $412.2 million for the third quarter, a 21-percent increase over third-quarter 2004 sales of $340.6 million.

The firm said that the industrial cell culture business of JRH Biosciences, which it acquired in February, contributed 11.3 percent of the total increase for the quarter. Organic growth accounted for 9 percent of the increase, Sigma said, while currency benefits contributed .7 percent of the increase.

Sigma said net income grew 16 percent in the period to $63.9 million, or $.94 per share, from $56.3 million, or $.81 per share, reported in the third quarter last year.

The firm's R&D spending increased to $12.8 million from $10.6 million year over year.

As of Sept. 30, Sigma-Aldrich had $155.3 million in cash balances.

Sigma said it predicts sales growth of 17 percent to 20 percent for the full year 2005.

BG Medicine, FDA Partner on Liver Toxicity Biomarker Study

BG Medicine said this week that it has submitted a cooperative research and development agreement with the US Food and Drug Administration's National Center for Toxicological Research for a project to discover biomarkers of human hepatotoxicity.

BG Medicine said that it has jointly designed the project, called the Liver Toxicology Biomarker Study, with the FDA "with input from a number of pharmaceutical companies." The company said that the study will be funded by pharmaceutical manufacturers, who will receive "a paid-up perpetual license to any biomarkers discovered and access to all project data."

The LTBS will be conducted at the FDA's NCTR laboratory in Jefferson, Ark., and at BG Medicine in Waltham, Mass., where the organizations will rely on a range of technologies, including functional genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and computational analysis.

BG Medicine said it expects the project to result in improved tests for liver toxicity, which is the most common biological reason for drug failure in the development of new drugs. Current toxicity testing methods "often fail to identify human liver toxicity issues," the company said. "Consequently, liver toxicity is often detected for the first time when drugs are in phase 2 of clinical testing after tens of millions of dollars or more have been spent on a drug."

Waters, 'Disappointed,' Reports Anemic Q3 Sales Growth; Tax Provision Causes Profit to Fall by Half

Waters this week said that third-quarter sales increased only 3 percent as a result of weaker-than-expected sales to large pharmaceutical accounts.

The company had originally slashed its third-quarter sales growth projections to 3 percent from 8 percent on Oct. 14.

Total sales for the period ended Oct. 1 increased 3 percent to $273 million from $264.8 million year over year, Waters said. Foreign currency translation had a "negligible effect" this quarter.

"We are disappointed in our third quarter performance as sales of instruments to our largest pharmaceutical customers were weak due to delays and reductions in their capital spending plans," Douglas Berthiaume, chairman, president, and CEO of Waters, said in a statement. "Unfortunately, revenue growth associated with our new product initiatives was insufficient to offset this market weakness."

R&D spending in the period dipped slightly to $16.5 million from $15.7 million in the year-ago quarter.

Net income slid 50.5 percent to $25.7 million, or $.23 per basic share, from $51.9 million, or $.43 per basic share, year over year. A $24 million tax provision related to a dividend distribution was recorded during this quarter.

Waters said it had around $489 million in cash and equivalents as of Oct. 1.

Protein Discovery Uses $2.2M VC Cash to Fund New Mass-Spec Service

Protein Discovery will use a $2.2 million Series B round of venture-capital financing to launch a new mass spectrometry tissue-imaging service, the company said this week.

Protein Discovery, based in Knoxville, Tenn., relies on processes and technology licensed from Vanderbilt University and the University of Texas.

The financing round, which closed this week, was led by the Southern Appalachian Fund with help from MB Venture Partners, Nashville Capital Network, Vanderbilt University, and others, Protein Discovery said.

The investment will be supplemented by additional financial support from the Southern Appalachian Fund's Operational Assistance program, the firm said. Chuck Witkowski, president and CEO of Protein Discovery, said this additional cash together with revenue expected from the new service business "will provide operational cash flow and allow us to accelerate our product development efforts."

The company is developing a suite of sample-preparation products for mass spectrometry that is currently in beta testing, Witkowski said.

Tecan, Invitrogen Unit Combine Liquid-Handling, Magnetic Bead Technologies

Tecan plans to combine its Freedom EVO automated liquid-handling platforms with magnetic bead technology made by Invitrogen subsidiary Dynal to enable researchers to isolate biological starting material, including mRNA, DNA, and recombinant proteins, the firms said last week.

The Freedom EVO series, which offers a variety of liquid-handling and robotic-arm options, complements the bead technology, called Dynabeads, which are compatible with many molecular tags. This makes it possible for researchers to isolate and concentrate cells, DNA, mRNA, organelles, and proteins from different sources.

Financial terms of the alliance were not disclosed.

The Scan

Y Chromosome Study Reveals Details on Timing of Human Settlement in Americas

A Y chromosome-based analysis suggests South America may have first been settled more than 18,000 years ago, according to a new PLOS One study.

New Insights Into TP53-Driven Cancer

Researchers examine in Nature how TP53 mutations arise and spark tumor development.

Mapping Single-Cell Genomic, Transcriptomic Landscapes of Colorectal Cancer

In Genome Medicine, researchers present a map of single-cell genomic and transcriptomic landscapes of primary and metastatic colorectal cancer.

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.