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Genomic Solutions, Correlogic Systems, MDS Sciex



Genomic Solutions Q1 Revenues Jump to $6.6M

Genomic Solutions, the Ann Arbor, Mich., maker of microarray and proteomic instruments, said its first-quarter 2002 revenues would exceed $6.6 million by preliminary estimates, reflecting an upturn in its business after two disappointing quarters.

“During the first quarter of 2002, we completed the sale of more than 75 large units, defined as the sale of a unit priced at $25,000 or more,” Jeffrey Williams, the company’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “We are especially pleased with customer demand for our newest products, including strong demand for the Investigator ProPrep Proteomic Workstation, GeneTAC UC4 Microarray Scanner and Cartesian Hummingbird liquid handlers.” Williams said this turnaround resulted from “strategic changes in marketing, sales, and distribution,” as well as its acquisition of Cartesian Technologies in December, and the exclusive licensing agreement with proteomic software company ProteoMetrics it completed in February.

The company’s fourth-quarter revenues totaled $4.4 million, compared with $5.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2000. Its third-quarter revenues went down to $3.6 million, compared with $5 million in the previous year’s quarter. Last fall, Genomic Solutions sold its proteomics contract services business and announced plans to trim its workforce of 170 by 25 percent as well as to close a research and development and manufacturing facility in Lansing, Mich., in order to stem operating costs and preserve cash reserves, which had dwindled to $13.1 million by the end of 2001.

Now, the company said that it is focusing on achieving profitability and generating earnings during the year. “We are confident we will continue to grow by providing innovative solutions with our wide-ranging portfolio of quality instruments, consumables and software,” Williams said.


Correlogic Licenses Technology From NCI/FDA, Signs CRADA

Coinciding with the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, where protein profiling experiments gained recognition as a new approach for diagnosing cancer, Correlogic Systems said last week that it has licensed from NIH the rights to commercially apply a technique for using protein patterns as a diagnostic tool. In addition, Correlogic, FDA, and NCI signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to expand their joint investigation of protein profiles for use as markers for ovarian cancer and other diseases.

Under the licensing agreement, Bethesda, Md.-based Correlogic will pay undisclosed royalties to NIH on revenue it receives from selling products or services using the intellectual property contained in a patent application entitled “A Process for Discriminating between Biological States Based on Hidden Patterns from Biological Data.” Ben Hitt, Correlogic’s chief scientific officer, Peter Levine, the company’s CEO, and Emanuel Petricoin and Lance Liotta of the joint FDA/NCI clinical proteomics program are authors of the patent application.

The CRADA calls for Correlogic and FDA and NCI researchers to begin applying their protein profiling method, which currently uses Correlogic proprietary software in conjunction with Ciphergen’s ProteinChip technology, to other types of cancer, including liver, breast, and colon cancer, Levine told ProteoMonitor. In addition, Levine said that the group plans to begin clinical trials of its protein profile associated with ovarian cancer this summer. The protein profiling technique may also have applications in drug toxicity and drug metabolism studies, Levine added.

Levine said that the method for identifying protein profiles associated with specific diseases was not dependent on Ciphergen’s technology, and that the company is currently exploring rivaling platform technologies, although he declined to name specific companies. “There are other SELDI-like technologies that are beginning to emerge,” he said. “What you want most of all is reproducibility, increased specificity, and reliability,” he said.


MDS Sciex Receives $11M Grant for Mass Spec Tools

MDS Sciex has been awarded a C$17.5 ($11.0 million) grant, half of which will be funded by Genome Canada, the Toronto-based company said. The money will fund a large-scale research project aimed at developing tools for applications in genomics and proteomics, the company said in a statement. As this newsletter went to press, Bill Davidson, vice president for science and technology at MDS Sciex, said he had not yet heard from Genome Canada which aspects of his company’s proposal had received funding.