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MDS, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Celera Genomics


MDS reports increased mass spec sales, Decreased Revenues for MDSP in Q4 of fY 2002

Earlier this month, MDS of Toronto, Canada, announced its results for the fourth quarter of its fiscal year 2002, which ended October 31.

While MDS Sciex, the company’s mass spec division, booked a 33 percent increase in revenues for the quarter compared to the previous year, MDS Proteomics’ revenues sank below CA$ 1 million ($645,000) for the quarter, and this segment had an operating loss of CA$14 million ($9 million) (see article p.1). The life sciences segment, which includes MDS Sciex, saw its revenues grow by 15 percent to CA$287 million ($185.4 million). Its operating income increased to CA$45 million ($29.1 million). The overall company’s operating income grew 20 percent to CA$49 million ($31.7 million), compared to the same quarter the previous year. Its revenues increased by 11 percent to CA$475 million ($306.9 million).


Millennium lays off 100 people in pre-clinical and early discovery

Shifting its focus from early R&D to development and commercialization, Millennium Pharmaceuticals of Cambridge, Mass., laid off at least 100 employees last week. According to Rob Kloppenburg, senior director of corporate communications at Millennium, the reductions took place in the pre-clinical and early discovery area.

Overall employment at Millennium will stay constant over the next year at about 2,450 people, he said, and proteomics research in early discovery will continue.


In proteomics, Celera plans to focus on cell surface proteins

Celera Genomics of Rockville, Md., said last week that it intends to direct its proteomics effort exclusively towards the identification of differentially expressed cell surface proteins, which it believes are the most promising targets for near-term drug candidates via antibodies.

The company said it has validated its proteomics target discovery platform by identifying differentially expressed proteins on the surface of pancreatic cancer cells. These proteins are now undergoing further validation to confirm their viability as targets. The proteomics effort, Celera stated, is currently focused on lung cancer and should move on to colon cancer in the coming months. The company wants to build its product portfolio based on its expertise in protease inhibitors and the disease areas inflammation, coagulation, and oncology. It plans to advance its most advanced small molecule programs into clinical trials by itself.

The Scan

Drug Response Variants May Be Distinct in Somatic, Germline Samples

Based on variants from across 21 drug response genes, researchers in The Pharmacogenomics Journal suspect that tumor-only DNA sequences may miss drug response clues found in the germline.

Breast Cancer Risk Gene Candidates Found by Multi-Ancestry Low-Frequency Variant Analysis

Researchers narrowed in on new and known risk gene candidates with variant profiles for almost 83,500 individuals with breast cancer and 59,199 unaffected controls in Genome Medicine.

Health-Related Quality of Life Gets Boost After Microbiome-Based Treatment for Recurrent C. Diff

A secondary analysis of Phase 3 clinical trial data in JAMA Network Open suggests an investigational oral microbiome-based drug may lead to enhanced quality of life measures.

Study Follows Consequences of Early Confirmatory Trials for Accelerated Approval Indications

Time to traditional approval or withdrawal was shorter when confirmatory trials started prior to accelerated approval, though overall regulatory outcomes remained similar, a JAMA study finds.