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NIH, Proteome Systems, FIND, PerkinElmer, BD Biosciences, Clearview Limited, BioMachines, Agilent, Univ. of Missouri, ACD/Labs, Grenoble Center


NIH Offers $200K-$400K Proteomics and Glycomics Grants for SBCs

The National Institutes of Health has issued a request for applications for projects focused on the development of new proteomics and glycomics research tools. The grant opportunity is open to US small businesses and individuals.

The program, said the NIH, has special interest in projects focused on "the unique needs of glycomics and clinical proteomics" and is "open to unconventional or alternative approaches."

The SBIR/STTR grants outlay up to $200,000 per year for up to for two years during phase I and up to $400,000 per year for up to four years during phase II.

Applications for funding open on March 1. The RFA expires on April 2. Additional details can be found here.

Proteome Systems, FIND to Develop TB Diagnostics

Australia-based Proteome Systems and the Foundation for Innovative Diagnostics of Geneva, Switzerland, will co-develop biomarkers for a tuberculosis diagnostic test, the company said this week.

According to the deal, FIND will provide clinical material and assistance as well as fast tracking in return for rights to distribute the reagent products to the public health sector in developing countries, said PXL.

Proteome Systems said the test will differ from available TB diagnostics because it will "directly detect proteins expressed by the TB causative microbe Mycobacterium tuberculosis in infected individuals as well as [measure] the severity of an infection."

As ProteoMonitor reported last March, Proteome Systems, based in Sidney, received a $2-million grant from the Australian government for TB diagnostic development.

PerkinElmer's Life and Analytical Sciences
Revenue Slides 8 Percent in Q4; Coggins to Retire

PerkinElmer last week said that revenue for its Life and Analytical Sciences business unit declined 8 percent to $286.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2005.

The company attributed the decline to the "longer fiscal period in 2004 versus this year."

PerkinElmer posted total fourth-quarter 2005 revenue of $387.7 million, a 6-percent decrease over $411.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2004.

PerkinElmer spent $21 million on R&D during the fourth quarter of 2005, down from $22.3 million in the comparable period of 2004.

The company reported net income of $187.8 million, or $1.45, versus $37.9 million, or $.29 per share in the fourth quarter of 2004. The company said fourth quarter earnings include net divestiture gains of $1.47 per share.

PerkinElmer divested its aerospace and fluid-testing businesses during the quarter. Its semiconductor unit is expected to be spun off in the first quarter.

As of Jan. 1, PerkinElmer had cash and cash equivalents of $502.3 million.

Separately this week, the company said Robert Friel would replace Peter Coggins as president of the Life and Analytical Sciences unit. Friel joined the company in 1999 and previously served as executive vice president and chief financial officer for the company. Coggins will retire in February.

In other news, PerkinElmer's board of directors has approved a regular quarterly dividend of $.07 cents per share of common stock, the company said last week.

The dividend is payable on May 12, 2006, to shareholders of record at the close of business on April 21, 2006, the company said.

BD Biosciences Revenue Grows 10 Percent in
Fiscal Q1 on Strong Reagent, Instrument Sales

Becton Dickinson this week said that fiscal first-quarter revenue for its Biosciences division grew more than 10 percent while overall receipts at the life sciences company increased 10 percent as well.

Total receipts for the Biosciences unit during the three months ended Dec. 31, 2005, increased to $199.5 million from $180.8 million year over year. Around $85 million of that was from sales in the United States, representing a 12.7-percent increase in sales to that country. The remainder, or approximately $114 million, was in international sales, which represented an 8.7-percent increase in sales.

BD attributed the growth to strong sales of reagents and research instruments, particularly research analyzers and sorters.

BD said company-wide fiscal first-quarter revenue increased 10 percent to $1.4 billion, though "unfavorable" foreign-currency translations cost the firm 1 percent in lost growth.

Spending on R&D increased 11.7 percent in the quarter, jumping to $69.3 million from $62 million year over year, BD said.

The company said profits increased 11.5 percent to $217.9 million, or $.88 per basic share, from $195.4 million, or $.78 per basic share, during the same period last year.

BD did not break out its balance sheet for the quarter.

In other news, BD's board of directors has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.215 per common share, the company said this week.

The dividend will be payable on March 31 to holders of record on March 10. The indicated annual dividend rate is $.86 per share, the company said.

Consultancy Buys Majority Stake in Proteomics Shop BioMachines

Clearview Limited, a Raleigh, NC-based consulting and advisory firm, has purchased a majority stake in BioMachines, a sample prep proteomics company located in Research Triangle Park, NC, the companies said this week.

Clearview's stake gives the company "full transactional authority. It is less than 75 percent and greater than 60" said Biomachines' new chairman, Sam Tetlow.

Tetlow added that the acquisition "delivers a new commercial focus to the company," which has been developing products for five years.

The acquisition took place on Dec. 29, 2005, but was disclosed today to coincide with the release of BioMachine's new TMiD MALDI, Tetlow said.

Tetlow is the founding partner of Clearview and a principal with Research Triangle Ventures.

Tom Larrichio, a former vice president at TriVirix International, has been named CEO.

Additional details were not provided.

Agilent Pays $98M for Yokogawa's Stake in Gas Chromatography Joint Venture

Agilent Technologies and Yokogawa Electric said this week that their joint venture, Yokogawa Analytical Systems, will become a wholly owned Agilent subsidiary effective Feb. 1.

Yokogawa will receive around $106 million from the transaction, including $98 million from Agilent for its 49-percent share in the joint venture and $7.5 million in dividends from Yokogawa Analytical Systems.

The companies formed the joint venture in 1992 to develop and market the ICP/MS, an analytical system used in gas chromatography.

At the time, Agilent transferred its sales and support of advanced laboratory analytical systems to Yokogawa Analytical Systems, while Yokogawa Electric transferred all of its laboratory business, including equipment under development, to the joint venture.

The joint venture had sales of more than $160 million in fiscal 2005, the companies said.

Agilent and Yokogawa said in a statement that the joint venture had "achieved its original objectives set 13 years ago," and that Agilent decided to make Yokogawa Analytical Systems a wholly owned subsidiary in order to expand the market presence for its products and services in Japan.

Univ. of Missouri to Use $1M Gift for Bioinformatics Program

The University of Missouri's College of Engineering bioinformatics program received a $1 million gift from MU alumnus Paul Shumaker and his wife, Dianne, the school announced this week.

The gift will pay for a professor of bioinformatics in computer science, a scholarship program, and a lecture series on bioinformatics, the university said in a statement.

Chi-Ren Shyu was named the first Shumaker professor. He is the creator of a protein database and a medical image retrieval system.

ACD/Labs Signs NMR Software Deal with Grenoble Center

Grenoble, France-based Université Joseph Fourier has licensed a complete suite of NMR software tools from Advanced Chemistry Development, ACD/Labs announced last week.

The software will be used at the Centre Grenoblois de Résonance Magnétique, a joint NMR facility between the university and the Commissairat de l'Energie Atomique.

The evaluation and purchase of the software was coordinated by Chemcad, ACD/Labs' official distributor for France, Belgium, Spain, and the Netherlands.

Financial details of the deal were not released.

The Scan

Researchers Compare WGS, Exome Sequencing-Based Mendelian Disease Diagnosis

Investigators find a diagnostic edge for whole-genome sequencing, while highlighting the cost advantages and improving diagnostic rate of exome sequencing in EJHG.

Researchers Retrace Key Mutations in Reassorted H1N1 Swine Flu Virus With Avian-Like Features

Mutations in the acidic polymerase-coding gene boost the pathogenicity and transmissibility of Eurasian avian-like H1N1 swine influenza viruses, a PNAS paper finds.

Genome Sequences Reveal Evolutionary History of South America's Canids

An analysis in PNAS of South American canid species' genomes offers a look at their evolutionary history, as well as their relationships and adaptations.

Lung Cancer Response to Checkpoint Inhibitors Reflected in Circulating Tumor DNA

In non-small cell lung cancer patients, researchers find in JCO Precision Oncology that survival benefits after immune checkpoint blockade coincide with a dip in ctDNA levels.