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Industry Briefs: Apr 8, 2002


Anadys Pharmaceuticals + Structural Genomix?


Despite rumors that Structural Genomix is considering an acquisition of Anadys Pharmaceuticals, the company is at the moment only interested in Anadys as a partner, said Eric de la Fortelle, SGX’s director of business development. In February, the two companies signed an agreement to share access to each other’s high-throughput screening and protein structure determination technologies and jointly develop drugs.

But de la Fortelle added that Anadys’ capabilities in screening small molecule compounds for potential drug activity represent “the direction we’re headed into,” and that “what happens later is anyone’s guess.” He added that the partnership was at too early a stage to determine whether an acquisition would be appropriate.

“The screening capabilities of companies like Anadys [are] an important part of our pipeline,” he said. “Whether we do it through collaborations like we’re doing with Anadys or Graffinity, or whether we do it by acquisition is going to be a strategic decision. At the moment we’re doing it through collaborations.”


Schleicher & Schuell Opens Protein Arraying Facility


Scheicher & Schuell Bioscience has opened a protein arraying facility for manufacturing customized protein and antibody arrays, the company said last week. Plans call for the new facility, located at the company’s US headquarters in Keene, NH, to offer both contract services and collaboration opportunities. Schleicher & Schuell’s microarrays include the company’s FAST slide nitrocellulose surface microarray technology and proprietary protein stabilizing buffers. The facility can spot arrays using piezoelectric non-contact, as well as hollow and solid pin, techniques. Turnaround time for complex arrays is about two months, the company said.


Luminex Slashes Revenue Outlook for Q1, Stops Discounting Systems


Austin, Texas-based bead array maker Luminex lowered its revenue expectations for the fourth straight quarter last week, as it announced that its revenues for the first quarter would fall far below Wall Street’s expectations. The company also said it would immediately reverse its strategy of discounting its xMAP multi-analyte assay platform.

For the first quarter of 2002, Luminex said its revenues would total between $2.2 million and $2.7 million, and that its diluted loss per share would be in the range of 20 cents to 23 cents ($5.7 million to $6.6 million). These losses compare to a previous consensus estimate of 17 cents per share (or $4.9 million), based on a poll of seven brokers conducted by FirstCall/Thomson Financial.

Luminex said that its revenues failed to meet expectations due to a longer-than-expected sales cycle and its decision to cease offering end-of-quarter discounts on its machines.

Chandler said the blame for the failure to accurately gauge the demands of the company’s customers rested on the whole management team.

The Scan

Latent HIV Found in White Blood Cells of Individuals on Long-Term Treatments

Researchers in Nature Microbiology find HIV genetic material in monocyte white blood cells and in macrophages that differentiated from them in individuals on HIV-suppressive treatment.

Seagull Microbiome Altered by Microplastic Exposure

The overall diversity and the composition at gut microbiome sites appear to coincide with microplastic exposure and ingestion in two wild bird species, according to a new Nature Ecology and Evolution study.

Study Traces Bladder Cancer Risk Contributors in Organ Transplant Recipients

In eLife, genome and transcriptome sequencing reveal mutation signatures, recurrent somatic mutations, and risky virus sequences in bladder cancers occurring in transplant recipients.

Genes Linked to White-Tailed Jackrabbits' Winter Coat Color Change

Climate change, the researchers noted in Science, may lead to camouflage mismatch and increase predation of white-tailed jackrabbits.