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Invitrogen, Thermo Fisher, SAIC-Frederick, Silicon Kinetics, Sigma-Aldrich, Hybrigenics, Strategic Diagnostics, Advanced Proteome

Bio-Discovery Up as Invitrogen Posts 14.8 Percent Spike in Q3 Revs
Invitrogen this week reported receipts of $361.7 million in its third quarter, up 14.8 percent from $315 million a year ago. That includes a 13.2 percent increase in its Bio-Discovery segment, which houses its proteomics tools and consumables, to $249.4 million from $220.4 million a year ago.
Cell Systems, Invitrogen’s other segment, saw revenues grow to $112.3 million, up 18.7 percent from $94.6 million a year ago.
For the three months ended Sept. 30, the company’s profits slid to $25.2 million, down 18.6 percent from $31 million a year ago.
In a conference call accompanying the earnings release, Invitrogen CFO David Hoffmeister said the gain in Bio-Discovery was due to price increases, new product introductions, improved volumes, and increased royalty revenue. Greg Lucier, CEO of the company, added that growth in the segment was “across the board, all customer segments, [and] all areas of the world.”
Currency contributed about 3 percentage points to total revenue growth during the quarter, company officials said. US revenues grew 11 percent while revenues in Europe rose 8 percent. Asia-Pacific revenues, excluding Japan, grew 20 percent. Japan business increased in the low single-digits.
Spending for research and development was $31.4 million in the quarter, including $25.9 million in Bio-Discovery. As of Sept. 30, Invitrogen had $675.8 million in cash and short-term investments.

Thermo Fisher Q3 Revs Rise 7.8 Percent
Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Analytical Technologies segment grew its revenues by 5.9 percent in the third quarter on the way to posting an overall 7.8 percent revenue growth.
This week, the company reported total revenues of $2.6 billion for the three months ended Sept. 27, compared to $2.4 billion a year ago. Its Analytical Technologies segment, which houses the company’s mass spectrometers, grew revenues to $1.1 billion, up from $1 billion a year ago.
Thermo Fisher’s Laboratory Products and Services segment grew revenues 10.1 percent to $1.6 billion in the quarter, compared to $1.5 billion a year ago.
Total net income rose 1.4 percent to $221.5 million from $218.5 million in the year-ago period.
R&D costs were $61.8 million for the quarter. As of Sept. 27, the company had $1.2 billion in cash and cash equivalents.

SAIC-Frederick, Silicon Kinetics Partner for Cancer, AIDS Research
SAIC-Frederick this week announced a partnership to use Silicon Kinetic’s label-free system to study how proteins interact in cancer and AIDS and how drug intervention affects protein interactions.
Under the partnership, SAIC-Frederick will use Silicon Kinetic’s three-dimensional, label-free SKi Pro Biomolecular Interaction Analysis Platform, which combines nanoporous silicon and optical interferometry to enable studies of proteins on 3D biosensor surfaces. SAIC-Fredercik will study extracellular binding domains of proteins involved in cancer and AIDS disease progression.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
SAIC-Frederick is a contractor of the National Cancer Institute and a wholly owned subsidiary of Science Applications International. Silicon Kinetics is a San Diego, Calif.-based biotech firm.

Sigma-Aldrich Revs up 7.4 Percent in Q3
Sigma-Aldrich this week sales rose 7.4 percent in the third quarter while profits increased 14.4 percent.
For the three months ended Sept. 30, the company posted sales of $540.6 million, compared to $503.2 million a year ago, with organic growth contributing 4.3 percentage points. Net income was $81.9 million, up from $71.6 million during the third quarter of 2007.
Sales in Sigma-Aldrich’s Research Biotech unit, which contains the company’s proteomics consumables, increased 9.7 percent. The company did not release sales figures in dollar amounts for the unit.
R&D costs rose to $16.5 million from $15 million a year ago. As of Sept. 30, the company had $220.6 million in cash and cash equivalents.
The company also said that its board has approved the additional purchase of 10 million shares, bringing the total authorization to 100 million shares.

Hybrigenics H1 Sales Down 16 Percent, Q3 Sales Up 173 Percent
French biopharmaceutical firm Hybrigenics this week reported third-quarter sales of €1.23 million ($1.58 million), up 173 percent from €450,000 a year ago and nearly matching the company’s sales for the entire first half of the year.
The company said that for the first half of 2008, total sales were down 16 percent to €1.24 million, compared to €1.48 million during the first six months of 2007. Net loss for the six months, ended June 30, totaled €3.9 million, up 34 percent from €2.9 million a year ago.
Hybrigenics did not disclose profit or loss figures for the third quarter, which ended at the end of September. It also did not provide a reason for the sharp increase in sales during the third quarter, and a company spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
Based in Paris, Hybrigenics develops cancer treatments and specializes in protein interactions.

Strategic Diagnostics Approves Share Buybacks
Strategic Diagnostics’ board has approved a stock repurchase of up to $3 million to be made during the next 12 months, the company said this week.
“We believe that our stock price does not reflect our belief in the long term value of Strategic Diagnostics,” said Francis di Nuzzo, president and CEO of the company, in a statement. “A repurchase program will benefit SDI’s shareholders and demonstrate our board’s and management teams’ confidence in our business.”
The program will be funded by the company’s working capital. It said it has about $11 million in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities. The company has approximately 20.4 million shares of stock outstanding.
Purchases will be made depending on market conditions, share price, and other conditions and will be made on the open market, in block trades, or otherwise.
Since hitting a high of $6.46 a year ago, shares have fallen to about $1.30 in the past week amid the Wall Street meltdown.

Advanced Proteome Opts Out of Reporting to SEC
Advanced Proteome Therapeutics this week said that it will file a Form 15F with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to deregister and terminate its reporting obligations under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
The company intends to maintain its listing on the TSX Venture Exchange in Canada, but “given the relatively low number of our US resident shareholders and trading volume in the US of our shares, we believe that from a cost and administrative perspective it is no longer appropriate for the company to continue with the reporting obligations,” said Alexander Krantz, president and CEO of Advanced Proteomics, in a statement.
US shareholders will be able to access the company’s filings on its website and on the website of the Canadian repository for a company’s public filings,
Upon filing form 15F, the company’s reporting obligations will be immediately suspended and deregistration will become effective 90 days afterward.

The Scan

Harvard Team Report One-Time Base Editing Treatment for Motor Neuron Disease in Mice

A base-editing approach restored SMN levels and improved motor function in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy, a new Science paper reports.

International Team Examines History of North American Horses

Genetic and other analyses presented in Science find that horses spread to the northern Rockies and Great Plains by the first half of the 17th century.

New Study Examines Genetic Dominance Within UK Biobank

Researchers analyze instances of genetic dominance within UK Biobank data, as they report in Science.

Cell Signaling Pathway Identified as Metastasis Suppressor

A new study in Nature homes in on the STING pathway as a suppressor of metastasis in a mouse model of lung cancer.