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Thermo Electron, Waters, Bruker, Sigma, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, GenoLogics, NIH, Carnegie Mellon, University of Pittsburgh, Applera, ABI, Strategic Diagnostics, Berlex, Millipore


Thermo Electron Reports 22-Percent Rise in Q1 Revenue as R&D Spending Grows, Profits Slide

Thermo Electron this week said that first-quarter revenues grew 22 percent as R&D spending rose 6.6 percent and profits contracted 4 percent.

Total receipts for the three months ended April 1 increased to $684 million from $559 million in the first quarter of 2005. The firm attributed the growth to a 30-percent rise in revenue for its life and laboratory sciences segment, which grew to $512 million from $393 million year over year. A 16-percent contribution from acquired businesses also helped drive the growth.

Sales in the firm's measurement and control segment increased 4 percent to $172 million from $166 million, Thermo said.

Thermo said R&D spending increased 6.6 percent in the quarter to $38.7 million from $36.3 million in the comparable period last year.

Net profit in the period contracted 4 percent to $46.9 million, or $.28 per share, from $48.9 million, or $.30 per share, year over. The firm's earnings were hit by $25.6 million, or $.07 per share, in amortization expenses.

The firm finished the first quarter with $230.8 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Thermo officials predicted 2006 revenue of $2.81 billion to $2.86 billion, an increase of 7 percent to 9 percent over 2005 revenue of $2.63 billion, with organic growth of 5 percent to 6 percent for the year.

Waters Says Q1 Sales Rise 8.2 Percent as R&D and Per-Share Profits Grow

Waters this week reported that first-quarter sales rose 8.2 percent atop increasing R&D spending and a narrowed profit.

Total sales for the three months ended April 1 increased to $290.2 million from $268.3 million in the year-ago period.

R&D spending jumped to $19 million from $16.7 million year over year.

Profits for the quarter declined to $44.2 million from $46.6 million year over year though per-share income grew to $.42 from $.39.

Waters said it had around $481.2 million in cash and equivalents as of April 1.

"A favorable convergence of market factors including rapid uptake of our proprietary Acquity UPLC chromatography technology, robust business growth in India and China and the continued strength of our global industrial accounts, enabled us to perform at a level above our projections and provides a higher level of confidence for the year," Douglas Berthiaume, chairman, president, and CEO, said in a statement.

Russia's Health Ministry Gives Bruker's Mass Spec Line Medical Device Status

Russia's Ministry of Health and Social Development has approved as medical devices Bruker Daltonics' entire MALDI-TOF product line, the company said this week.

The products in the line include Bruker's microflex, autoflex TOF or TOF/TOF, and ultraflex TOF/TOF mass spectrometers, as well as of the company's ClinProRobot sample preparation platform.

The company took the step "to facilitate upcoming future regulatory approvals of novel mass-spectrometry based in vitro diagnostic assays" by its Russian customers, Bruker said in a statement.

Sigma's Q1 Sales Jump 10.8 Percent Amid R&D Spending Growth and Profit Decline

Sigma-Aldrich this week reported that first-quarter sales rose 10.8 percent as R&D spending grew 8.3 percent and net income shrank 10 percent.

Total receipts for the three months ended March 31 increased to $443 million from $400 million year over year.

R&D spending in the period grew to $13 million from $11.7 million in the year-ago period.

Profits in the first quarter declined to $66.5 million, or $.98 per diluted share, from $74.6 million, or $1.07 per diluted share, year over year.

Sigma said it had around $118.3 million in cash and equivalents as of March 31.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center Deploys GenoLogics' Proteus Software

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has deployed GenoLogics Life Sciences' Proteus lab- and data-management software, the company said this week.

The Hutch has integrated the proteomics software with its recently released Computational Proteomics Analysis System data repository, and will use it for cancer biomarker-discovery research in early detection of ovarian cancer, GenoLogics said.

NIH Awards Carnegie Mellon, University of Pittsburgh $13.3M to Create Center for Network, Pathway Technology

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh a five-year grant worth $13.3 million to establish a National Technology Center for Networks and Pathways.

The center will focus on developing fluorescent probe and imaging technologies to investigate regulatory pathways and networks in real time in living cells, according to Carnegie Mellon. The university said the effort is expected to generate molecular biosensors for preclinical research to map the many cell-signaling networks involved in disease. In the future, the biosensors may be used in hospital- and office-based diagnostic medicine, it added.

Carnegie Mellon, which will house the new center, said that the grant is one of three awarded under the NIH's "Building Blocks, Biological Pathways and Networks Roadmap for Medical Research," an initiative aimed at supporting research to develop tools that determine in real time the amounts, locations, and interactions of large numbers of individual proteins within a single cell.

Applera Declares ABI Dividend

Applera said this week that its board has declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.0425 per share of the company's Applied Biosystems subsidiary.

The dividend is payable on July 3 to shareholders of record as of June 1.

Strategic Diagnostics to Provide Genomic Antibodies' Products to Berlex Under Expanded Supply Agreement

Strategic Diagnostics will provide Genomic Antibodies' antibodies to Berlex as part of an amendment of its supply agreement with the drug maker, the companies said last week in a statement.

Genomic Antibodies' process will reduce the time it takes to produce antibodies for Berlex, Matthew Knight, Strategic Diagnostics president and CEO, said in the statement.

The antibodies can be directed against "traditionally difficult antigen targets, such as transmembrane proteins, membrane-associated proteins, and highly conserved proteins, which will help Berlex to identify and market new pharmaceuticals more quickly," he said.

Millipore to Buy Serologicals for $1.4B in Cash; Firm Hopes to 'Pursue New Markets,' Grow Eurasian Sales

Millipore will acquire Serologicals for $1.4 billion in cash — which is how much revenue the combined company will likely generate this year, the firms said this week.

The acquisition will enable Millipore's Bioscience Division, which includes tools for protein and DNA research, analytical samples preparation, and bioassay development, to play in the drug-discovery products and services, antibodies, cell biology reagents, and stem cell research markets.

Millipore's Bioprocess Division, meantime, will gain Serologicals' cell culture supplements, which will help it to enter the upstream bioprocessing market, which it pegs at $1 billion. Combined, these products will enable Millipore to sell upstream cell culture and downstream separation offerings for biopharmaceutical production.

"With the addition of Serologicals' R&D capabilities, we will ... be able to pursue new markets and bring together the applications expertise of both companies," Millipore Chairman, President, and CEO of Martin Madaus said in a statement.

Millipore also said it expects to increase sales of Serologicals' products in international markets such as Europe, Asia and Japan, where Millipore has a significant presence.

Millipore said the buy will enable it to generate around $1.4 billion in combined 2006 and grow 2007 receipts by between 9 and 11 percent year over year. Serologicals generated $274.9 million in revenue last year, a 40.3-percent increase over 2004.

The combined company, which will employ around 5,800 people, will "have significantly expanded" R&D capabilities and a worldwide sales, sales support, and service organization.

The acquisition is expected to close by June 30.

Terms of the deal, which is subject to Serologicals shareholder approval, customary regulatory approvals, and other conditions, call for Serologicals shareholders to receive $31.55 in cash for each common share they own.

The acquisition will enable Millipore to "optimize workflows from sample preparation, to developing and performing assays, to analyzing results," Madaus said. "Our ... offering will include process development and scale-up, upstream processing, downstream filtration, and ongoing compliance monitoring and testing."

It was not immediately clear whether the acquisition will cause Millipore to shed Serologicals staff, but Madaus said "we welcome the employees of Serologicals to Millipore."

UK's BBSRC Awards $48M for Three Integrative Systems Biology Centers

The UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council last week awarded £27 million ($48 million) to create three new centers for integrative systems biology.

The new centers will be located at the Universities of Edinburgh, Nottingham, and Oxford and will bring together biologists, mathematicians, and computer scientists, BBSRC said

The funding includes £4.8 million ($8.6 million) from the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

The new centers will focus on dynamic biological systems, such as biological clocks, the nature and behavior of plant roots, and signaling pathways in bacteria and yeasts, BBSRC said.

The centers join three others that the BBSRC created last year at Imperial College, Manchester, and Newcastle.

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.