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US Senate, NIH, Bruker, Advion BioSystems, Compugen, Agilent Technologies

US Senate Targeting Additional $2.1B for NIH
The US Senate late last week passed a resolution that would add $2.1 billion to the White House’s proposed National Institutes of Health budget for 2009.
Senators Arlen Specter (R – Penn.) and Tom Harkin (D – Iowa) added the extra funds to the President’s proposed $29.5 billion through an amendment to a budget resolution that will set the limits on the spending frame for upcoming debate on the 2009 budget.
The budget resolution will “set a blueprint for how Congress will identify its priorities; how much here and how much there,” Dave Moore, senior VP of the Association of American Medical College’s office of government affairs,” told ProteoMonitor’s sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News last week.
“The funding for the National Institutes of Health is grossly insufficient,” Specter said in a statement. “This increase in funding will enable the National Institutes of Health to continue to produce remarkable achievements in scientific advances,” he added.
“Boosting our nation's investment in the NIH will ensure the nation's top scientists can continue to deliver the life-saving biomedical research that provides hope to millions of Americans," Sen. Harkin, who chairs the committee that handles appropriations for the NIH and a number of other agencies, said in a statement.  
The amendment passed the Senate by a vote of 95 to 4, although the budget resolution itself passed by a smaller margin of 51 to 44.

Newly Combined Bruker Q4 Revs Up 31 Percent, Reaches Deal with Advion
Bruker this week reported the combined financial results of Bruker BioSciences and Bruker BioSpin for the fourth quarter and full-year 2007. The firm’s revenues grew 31.2 percent year over year for the fourth quarter and 21.3 percent for full-year 2007.
Bruker BioSciences acquired BioSpin for $1.1 billion last month. Following completion of the deal, the combined firm was renamed Bruker Corp.
The day after closing the acquisition, Bruker reported fourth-quarter receipts of $183.7 million, up 35 percent from $135.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2006. Those results did not include the combined operations with BioSpin.
This week, Bruker reported that its combined revenue for the fourth quarter of 2007 was $343.1 million, up from $261.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2006. Its net income increased 3.9 percent to $37 million, or $.22 per share, from $35.6 million, or $.22 per share.
The firm’s R&D spending for the fourth quarter grew 11.4 percent to $30.3 million from $27.2 million, while its SG&A expenses increased 17.5 percent to $63.2 million from $53.8 million.
For full-year 2007, Bruker had revenues of just over $1 billion compared to $851 million in 2006. Its net income for the year increased 29.9 percent to $97.2 million, or $.59 per share, from $74.8 million, or $.47 per share, in 2006.
The company’s 2007 R&D costs increased 8 percent to $110.8 million from $102.6 million, while its SG&A expenses jumped 18.1 percent to $183.3 million.
Bruker finished 2007 with $344.5 million in cash and short-term investments.
The firm said it expects 2008 revenue growth of greater than 8 percent.
Also this week, Bruker Daltonik, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bruker Daltonics, a division within Bruker, entered into a co-marketing agreement with Advion BioSystems to sell Advion’s TriVersa’s NanoMate nanoelectrospray source with Bruker’s mass spectrometers.
Under the agreement, the two companies will co-promote their products, Advion said in a statement. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Compugen Develops, Validates DAC Platform
Compugen this week said it has developed and validated its Blockers of Disease-Associated Conformation platform for discovering and identifying peptides that block proteins from adopting their disease-associated conformations.
Two of the predicted therapeutic peptide candidates from the pilot validation run have shown initial experimental verification, one with anti-inflammatory, the other with anti-cancer activities, the company said in a statement.

The platform was designed to identify segments in proteins of interest that when introduced would block specific conformational changes of these proteins, preventing them from adopting disease-associated conformations and related activities. A key capability of the platform, the company said, is it allows for a proteome-wide search for such conformational change blocking peptides in human, viral, and bacterial proteomes.

The Scan

Transcriptomic, Epigenetic Study Appears to Explain Anti-Viral Effects of TB Vaccine

Researchers report in Science Advances on an interferon signature and long-term shifts in monocyte cell DNA methylation in Bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated infant samples.

DNA Storage Method Taps Into Gene Editing Technology

With a dual-plasmid system informed by gene editing, researchers re-wrote DNA sequences in E. coli to store Charles Dickens prose over hundreds of generations, as they recount in Science Advances.

Researchers Model Microbiome Dynamics in Effort to Understand Chronic Human Conditions

Investigators demonstrate in PLOS Computational Biology a computational method for following microbiome dynamics in the absence of longitudinally collected samples.

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.