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Varian, Magnex Scientific, PerkinElmer, Nanosphere, NIH, Eksigent Technologies, University of Texas, General Electric Healthcare

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Varian to Acquire Magnex Scientific, Announces Layoffs

Varian announced this week that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Magnex Scientific, a manufacturer of superconducting imaging magnets, for $32 million in cash and assumed net debt.

Varian said the acquisition will include an opportunity for additional purchase price payments beyond the $32 million over the next three years, depending on Magnex achieving certain financial milestones.

The deal follows a five-year relationship during which Magnex supplied Varian with magnetic resonance imaging magnet systems. Varian said the acquisition of UK-based Magnex, which will operate as a subsidiary, is expected to generate external revenues of between $15 million and $18 million in the first 12 months, excluding internal magnet shipments for its own product lines.

Magnex currently provides about $10 million worth of product to Varian annually, the company said.

Varian noted that in connection with the acquisition, it plans to rationalize its field support administration in the UK, resulting in charges to earnings of about $2 million to $2.3 million. These charges will be recognized in the first and second quarters of fiscal 2005.

Varian also said that it has recently laid off roughly 20 employees as part of an effort to reorganize its scientific instruments and corporate marketing organizations, and to consolidate certain scientific instruments administrative functions in North America.

According to the company, which announced the move in a filing last week with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, “this plan was undertaken to more closely align the strategic and operational focus of these organizations across different product lines and to improve efficiency and reduce operating costs.”

The restructuring, Varian said in its SEC filing, will result in pretax costs of between $800,000 and $1 million, which are anticipated to be recorded primarily in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2004. The remainder will be recorded in the first quarter of fiscal 2005.

A Varian spokeswoman told ProteoMonitor’s sister publication, GenomeWeb News, that the company currently employs almost 4,500.


PerkinElmer Cuts 35 Jobs

PerkinElmer has recently laid off about 35 employees from its Torrance, Calif.-based facility.

“As part of a previously announced closure plan, and overall strategic/operational plan to form an automation and liquid handling center of excellence for its life and analytical sciences segment, PerkinElmer has completed the transfer of its Torrance ... operations to its Downers Grove, [Ill.],” Dan Sutherby, vice president of investor relations and communications, told GenomeWeb News in an e-mail.

“This will enable a more focused approach towards developing market-driven and integrated liquid handling, sample preparation, and automation solutions for customers in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and academic research markets,” he added.


Nanosphere Founder to Use $2.5 Million NIH Director’s Pioneer Award For Protein Detection Research

Nanosphere founder Chad Mirkin has been selected as one of the first recipients of the $2.5 million National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award, Nanosphere, a nanotechnology-based life sciences company, announced last week.

Mirkin will use the new award to test far-ranging ideas, including further exploration of his ultra-sensitive protein detection technology which was first reported in the September 2003 issue of Science, Nanosphere officials said.

“Ultra-sensitive protein detection will enable the discovery and validation of new biomarkers with up to one million times more sensitivity than current methods,” the Northbrook, Illinois-based company said in a release. “This level of sensitivity can lead to broader and earlier diagnosis of illnesses from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease.”

New inventions arising from Mirkin’s work, including a new method for biomarker detection at extremely low concentrations, are licensed exclusively to Nanosphere.


Eksigent Technologies Expands Sales Team, Adds East Coast Laboratory

Eksigent Technologies, a manufacturer of microfluidic systems for use in proteomics and other life sciences applications, announced last week that it will be expanding its sales and service team. In addition, it will be opening a new lab on the east coast to develop applications using its HPLC systems, conduct hardware demos and host seminars and training.

“The opening of the Eksigent east-coast lab will allow us to manage mew and existing customer relationships. It will also strengthen our organization’s ability to respond rapidly to market opportunities,” said Jeff Jensen, the chief operating officer of Livermore, Calif.-based Eksigent.

New sales staff who have been added to the company include Donna Dupont, the mid-Atlantic sales manager; Ross Constantineau, the northeast sales manager; and Mark Atlas, the western region sales manager. On the technical side, David Hughes has been appointed senior separations scientist, Fred Mannarino will provide technical support for the eastern region, and Teresa Beavers will provide technical support for the western region.


University of Texas Proteomics Center Selects GenoLogics Life Sciences Software as Data Collaboration Partner

The University of Texas Medical Branch’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Proteomics Center has selected GenoLogics to provide LIMS software to manage the large amount of data emerging from the center.

“In looking for Laboratory Information Management systems, we evaluated a number of options and found GenoLogics to be flexible and open to working with our facilities’ needs,” said Alexander Kurosky, UTMB Proteomics Center facility director.


GE Healthcare Unit — With Amersham — Takes in $3.3B for Q3

General Electric Healthcare contributed total orders of $3.3 billion to the company’s reported total revenues of $38 billion for the third quarter ending Sept. 30, up from $33.4 billion for the same period last year, the company said today.

Total orders for the GE Healthcare unit increased 42 percent over the third quarter in 2003, including Amersham, the company said. The company did not specifically break out Amersham’s contribution, but said that excluding Amersham, the unit’s orders grew 15 percent to $2.3 billion, which would credit Amersham with $600 million in orders, and growth of 27 percent.

Healthcare’s total revenues of $3.3 billion compared to $2.3 billion for the year-ago quarter. The unit had net revenue of $503 million for the quarter, compared to $383 billion for the year-ago period.