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Sigma-Aldrich, Matritech, ABI, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Sigma-Aldrich Completes Construction of Protein-Purification Facilities, Q1 Sales Up 11.9 Percent in Q1
Sigma-Aldrich said this week that it has completed construction of two protein active pharmaceutical ingredient facilities in St. Louis, Mo..
One, a biologics manufacturing facility, consists of a 25,000 square foot cGMP purification and manufacturing suite for transgenic plant and other non-animal derived protein APIs. The second is a 6,000 square foot facility for purifying animal-derived protein APIs.
Validation for commercial operation of the facility is expected by mid-year, the company said in a statement. The two facilities cost $16 million and are an expansion of Sigma-Aldrich's existing manufacturing campus in St. Louis.
Also this week, Sigma-Aldrich said sales for its first quarter rose 11.9 percent to $495.9 million from $443.1 million a year ago. Net income for the three months ended March 31 increased 12.6 percent to $74.9 million from $66.5 million. 
Of the 11.9 percent increase in sales, 6.6 percent was from organic growth, the company said in a statement, 4.1 percent from currency benefit, and 1.2 percent from the purchase of Epichem in February.
The company said it had cash and cash equivalents of $172.8 million as of March 31. It spent $14.1 million on R&D during the quarter.

San Fran Screens Firefighters for Bladder Cancer with Matritech’s Test
The city of San Francisco and its fire department are using Matritech’s NMP22  BladderChek urine test as a part of a free bladder cancer screening program for the city’s current and retired firefighters.
So far, more than 900 firefighters have been screened with the test, Matritech said in a statement. The NMP22 is a point-of-care, protein-based diagnostic for the early detection of cancer.

ABI's Mass Spec Sales Rise 12 Percent as Profit Tumbles 40 Percent
A 12 percent increase in mass spec sales contributed to an 8 percent increase in Applied Biosystems’ fiscal third-quarter 2007 revenues, the company said this week.
Total receipts for the three months ended March 31 increased to $529.9 million from $490.7 million year over year.
ABI said that mass spec sales increased 12 percent to $127.3 million; sequencing revenue ticked up 3 percent to $140.7 million; RT-PCR sales increased 13 percent to $183.3 million; core PCR and DNA synthesis dropped 9 percent to $47 million; while “other” products declined rose 20 percent $31.7 million.
Applera CEO Tony White said the company is seeing “good progress,” and he highlighted the growth in the sequencing, PCR, and mass spec sales.
White also said the company  “continue[s] to see high growth in the applied markets of human identification and quality and safety testing and in the emerging categories.”  
R&D spending in the quarter increased to $54.4 million from $48 million year over year.
ABI said profit in the quarter fell to $75.5 million from $124.4 million in the year-ago period.
The company said it expects “high single digit to low double digit” revenue growth for fiscal 2007.
During the third quarters of both fiscal 2007 and 2006, ABI recorded items that affected the comparability of results. For the third quarter of fiscal 2007, the company recorded pre-tax items attributable to amortization expense related to acquired intangibles that decreased income before taxes by approximately $2.8 million.
In the third quarter of fiscal 2007, ABI said it recorded a tax benefit of $8 million primarily resulting from a $6.1 million valuation allowance release that resulted from management's reassessment of the future realization of foreign tax credits. Alternative and actual tax filing positions accounted for the remaining tax benefits of $1.9 million.
During the third quarter of fiscal 2006, ABI recorded pre-tax items that decreased income before taxes by approximately $5.4 million. These items included a net charge of $1.6 million related to the resolution of legal disputes; a pre-tax charge of $3.4 million to write off the value of acquired in-process R&D in connection with the acquisition of Ambion; a charge of $1.3 million attributed to amortization expense related to acquired intangibles; and a favorable pre-tax adjustment of $900,000 for a previously recorded asset impairment. The period also included tax benefits of $63.3 million related to a completed IRS exam, a state valuation allowance reversal, and research and development credits.
ABI did not disclose its balance sheet for the period.

Fisher Buy Helps Thermo Post 240-Percent Revenue Growth in Q1
Thermo Fisher Scientific this week said first-quarter revenues increased nearly 240 percent as R&D spending rose 55 percent and profit jumped 200 percent on combined sales and spending stemming from the merger of Thermo Electron and Fisher Scientific.
Total receipts for the three months ended March 31 increased to $2.3 billion from $684.3 million year over year.
Thermo said revenue from its Analytical Technologies segment increased 15 percent to $1 billion, while receipts from the Lab Products and Services segment increased 9 percent to $1.4 billion.
Claiming “excellent performance across the board” in the first quarter, Thermo CEO Marijn Dekkers attributed much of the growth to new products introduced within the last two years. Dekkers pointed specifically to “strong” demand for its mass spectrometers, elemental-analysis systems, and portable analyzers.
R&D spending increased to $59.8 million from $38.7 million in the first quarter of 2006.
The company said profit rose to $138.9 million from $45.9 million in the year-ago period.
Dekkers said Thermo expects 2007 earnings to grow between 27 and 32 percent in 2007, and he said the company is maintaining its revenue guidance of $9.4 to $9.5 billion for the full year, which would be an increase of between 6 and 8 percent over 2006.
Thermo said it had around $670.9 million in cash and equivalents and $20.5 million in short-term investments as of March 31.

The Scan

Rise of BA.5

The New York Times reports that the Omicron subvariant BA.5 has become the dominant version of SARS-CoV-2 in the US.

UK Health Secretary Resigns

Sajid Javid, the UK health secretary, resigned along with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, saying they cannot work with Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government, CNN reports.

Clones From Freeze-Dried Cells

A team in Japan has cloned mice from freeze-dried skin cells, according to the Guardian.

Genome Research Papers on Craniosynostosis, Macaque Retrotransposition, More

In Genome Research this week: structural variants in craniosynostosis, LINE-1 activity in rhesus macaque brain, and more.