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Sigma-Aldrich, Procognia, EMBL, Abnova, Bruker, Bio-Rad


Sigma-Aldrich to Market Protein Arrays Made by Procognia

Sigma-Aldrich will market human protein arrays developed by Procognia, the companies said this week.

Procognia has developed a tag technology to create arrays of biologically related human proteins that retain their native functions in the array format, the companies said. The first array will contain wild type human p53 and its germline SNP variants.

Procognia's SNP-variant proteins will enable researchers to investigate the mechanism of cancer progression on many proteins in parallel, the company said.

Additional protein arrays, expected to launch “in the coming months,” will contain “selected sets of biologically related human proteins including collections of proteins associated with key diseases including cancer and signal transduction,” according to a statement.

Financial terms of the exclusive collaboration were not disclosed.

Procognia said that it has raised $23.5 million in a round of venture-capital financing led by Apax Partners Funds.

EMBL and Abnova Team Up to Produce Monoclonal Antibodies in High Throughput

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory and Abnova of Taiwan will join forces to produce monoclonal antibodies in high throughput, the partners said this week.

EMBL will contribute technologies relating to automation and monoclonal antibody production developed at its Monoclonal Core Facility in Monterotondo, Italy, to enhance Abnova's facilities in Taiwan.

EMBL Enterprise Management and Abnova also plan to collaborate in marketing a custom OEM monoclonal antibody service. Abnova has formed a subsidiary in Germany to expand the custom service for academic and industrial researchers.

Abnova said it is currently developing an antibody catalog for drug discovery and diagnostics, focusing on antibodies against human kinases, receptors, apoptosis proteins, stem cell proteins, and plasma proteins.

Bruker Warns of Further Restructuring AMID Modest Q3 Revenue Increase

Bruker BioSciences last week reported a modest increase in revenues for the third quarter, driven by sales from its Bruker AXS unit. Bruker also said it will announce further cost-cutting and restructuring measures within the next two months.

In September, Bruker laid off around 60 employees worldwide in a move expected to save the company $6 million. Further details of the upcoming restructuring plans were not disclosed.

Total revenues for the quarter ended Sept. 30 were $66.6 million, up from $63.1 million during the same quarter last year. While sales of Bruker's AXS unit, which makes X-ray systems, increased to $32.3 million from $26.8 million, revenues from Bruker Daltonics, which makes mass spectrometry systems, declined to $34.2 million from $36.3 million.

Frank Laukien, Bruker's CEO, said in a statement that some new products had only recently started to be shipped, and that some revenue could not be booked yet because customers were not ready to have their systems installed.

R&D costs for the quarter increased to $11.3 million from $9.6 million during the same period last year.

Bruker had a net loss of $2.7 million, or $.03 per share, compared to a net loss of $14.7 million, or $.17 per share, during last year's third quarter. This net loss included a $1.6 million write-off of remaining investments in two proteomics companies. Bruker did not disclose the identities of the two firms.

As of Sept. 30, Bruker had $76.6 million in cash and short-term investments.

Bio-Rad Posts Mild Q3 Revenue Growth from Life Science and Clinical Dx Segments

Bio-Rad Laboratories reported last week increased revenues for the third quarter from its life science and clinical diagnostic business segments, while its earnings declined.

Bio-Rad booked $258.8 million in revenues for the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with $241.8 million during the same period last year. Its life science segment contributed $120.6 million in revenues, up 7 percent over last year's receipts, driven by a mix of products geared more towards reagents and increased sales of multiplex array technology, amplification and electrophoresis reagents, and gene transfer technology.

Life science also benefited from gene expression products from MJ GeneWorks and MJ Research, which Bio-Rad acquired in August.

Bio-Rad spent $26.6 million during the quarter on R&D, up from $23 million during the same period last year.

Net income fell to $6.3 million, or $.24 per share, from $9.7 million, or $.37 per share, during the third quarter of 2003.