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Vermillion, Molecular Devices, Sigma-Aldrich, Ariadne, Kyoto Prefectural University, CombiMatrix

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Vermillion in Non-compliance with Another Nasdaq Listing Requirement
 
Vermillion, formerly known as Ciphergen, said last week it had been notified by Nasdaq that it is not in compliance with the exchange’s guidelines for a minimum bid price and could face delisting action.
 
The letter from Nasdaq tells Vermillion its stock has closed under $1 per share for at least 30 consecutive business days and the company has until March 4, 2008 to regain compliance. To do so, Vermillion’s stock must close at a minimum $1 per share for at least 10 consecutive business days. If the company fails to comply by March 4, Nasdaq will determine if Vermillion meets other listing requirements aside from the minimum bid price.
 
If it does, Vermillion will have an additional 180 days to regain compliance. If Nasdaq determines that the company does not fulfill other listing requirements, it will move to delist Vermillion’s shares. At that time, Vermillion will be able to appeal.
 
Last month, the company was told by Nasdaq that it is not in compliance with rules stating a company must have a minimum $2.5 million in stockholder’s equity, market capitalization of $35 million, or $500,000 of net income from continuing operations for the most recently completed fiscal year, or two of the three most recently completed fiscal years.
 
The company has until Sept. 14 to comply with those guidelines. If Vermillion does not, Nasdaq can move to delist the company’s stock. Vermillion faced delisting action by Nasdaq in the spring of 2006 when it was still called Ciphergen.
 

 
Molecular Devices Purchase Boosts MDS Q3 Revs
 
MDS reported late last week that third-quarter revenue for the segment comprising its MDS Sciex and Molecular Devices units increased 92 percent.
 
Total revenue for the three months ended July 31 increased to $127 million from $66 million for its MDS Analytical Technologies segment, which includes Sciex and Molecular Devices. Molecular Devices contributed $55 million and the Sciex division added $72 million in revenue.
 
Much of the growth came from the Molecular Devices division, which MDS acquired in Marchand the company said growth in its Sciex business was strong, particularly in the small-molecule business.  
 
Company wide, MDS posted revenues of $321 million for the quarter, up 24 percent from $258 million during the year-ago period. Profits dropped to $7 million from $19 million a year ago.
  
The company spent $21 million on R&D during the quarter, compared to $13 million a year, mostly due to additional spending on the Molecular Diagnostic business, MDS said. As of July 31, MDS said it had $224 million in cash and cash equivalents.
 

 
Sigma-Aldrich Expands China, European Facilities, Partners with Ingenuity
 
Sigma-Aldrich announced two expansion plans during the past week. In China, the company said it plans an initial investment of $25 million to purchase land rights at the Wuxi-New District Park near Shanghai to construct an Asia-Pacific manufacturing hub.
 
Separately, Sigma-Aldrich said it is investing about $10 million to increase cGMP commercial-scale active pharmaceutical ingredients manufacturing capacity at its SAFC Pharma, Arklow, Ireland, facility and to expand the manufacturing capacity at its Buchs, Switzerland, site.
 
The Shanghai facility will be developed in three phases. The first includes a large-scale, non cGMP, multi-purpose organic manufacturing facility “dedicated to supporting its SAFC fine chemicals business unit,” the company said in a statement. The site is eventually expected to produce raw materials, key intermediates, and final products to support the company’s pharma, Hitech, and supply solutions businesses. Sigma-Aldrich expects to begin construction of the new facility by the end of the year.
 
Later development phases are expected to support the company’s research essentials and research specialties business units, and include the extension of analytical, packaging, and warehousing facilities for its research-based business.
 
The $4.7 million expansion of the Arklow plan is scheduled for the first quarter of 2008 and will upgrade the pilot plant and add additional vessels to increase chemistry capacity for API products. Additional upgrades will increase the utility capacity and the site’s environmental performance.
 
The company is investing $5.4 million in its Buchs site to add 17,200 square feet. The expansion is expected to increase production capacity by 25 percent through improved materials flow and separation, and increased materials storage.
 
The company also announced a partnership with Ingenuity Systems to develop a new search capability on Sigma-Aldrich’s web site. Under the agreement, Sigma-Aldrich will integrate Ingenuity’s repository of biological and chemical networks into its life science product portfolio.
 
The new search capability will allow researchers to locate Sigma-Aldrich products most relevant to their work and “enable researchers to understand those products in a content-rich environment of highly relevant biological and chemical relationships,” the company said in statement.
 

 
Ariadne, Kyoto Prefectural University Enter Licensing Agreement
 
The Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan has licensed Ariadne’s Pathway Studio Enterprise software, Ariadne said this week. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
 
According to Kozo Kawahara, president of World Fusion, Ariadne’s distributor of enterprise products in Japan, the university chose Pathway Studio because its researchers wanted the “harvesting functionality, Medscan, that enables them to update the functional relation database from PubMed as often as possible.” They also wanted a commercially supported gene set enrichment analysis platform, he said.
 

 
A Symbol of Change for CombiMatrix
 

CombiMatrix this week said its stock symbol has changed to “CBMX” effective Sept. 13. Its symbol had been “CBMXD”. The company recently split off from Acacia Research and began trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market last month.

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.