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Waters, Creon, SGX, CombiMatrix, Harvard Bioscience, Bruker AXS, Discovery, Diversa

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Waters Acquires Creon Lab for $16M

Waters announced this week that it had completed the acquisition of Cologne, Germany-based Creon Lab Control for $16 million. Creon will provide data management software to manage and distribute HPLC and mass spec data generated with Waters’ products.

The acquisition was not expected to impact Waters’ 2003 earnings.

 

SARS Coronavirus Protease Crystal Structure Determined

Structural Genomix of San Diego announced Wednesday that it had used X-ray diffraction to determine a high-resolution, experimental structure of the SARS main protease. The company said it will make the structure available through the public protein data bank in advance of publishing its research in an unnamed scientific journal, and is exploring collaborations for treatment of the virus. The protease is believed to be the primary target for inhibitory antiviral agents and the experimental determination of its crystal structure is part of the discovery process that could lead to new drugs. The company said that it determined the structure of the protease within a month after receiving cDNA clones from the Genome Institute of Singapore.

 

Combimatrix May Say No to Proteomics As Revenues Fall

CombiMatrix of Squolamie, Wash., will not make protein chips in the near future, executives said during a quarterly earnings conference call this week in which it announced taking in only $6,000 in revenues for the second quarter of 2003, down from $438,000 for the year-ago period. “Until the whole area of proteomics develops into something greater than mass spec and gel electrophoresis, we don’t anticipate developing something in that field,” CombiMatrix CEO Amit Kumar said. Kumar later told ProteoMonitor’s sister publication BioArray News that he “mispoke,” clarifying that CombiMatrix did not see business potential in antibody arrays.

The company took in $5.8 million in cash payments from partners during the second quarter. For the quarter, CombiMatrix’s R&D expenses were $2.2 million, compared to $5 million for the year-ago period. The division’s net losses came to $5.2 million, compared to $5.9 million for the second quarter of 2002. At the end of June, CombiMatrix had $19.3 million in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments.

 

Harvard Bioscience Reports 63 Percent Revenue Growth in Q2

Harvard Bioscience this week reported year-over-year revenue growth of 63 percent for the second quarter of 2003, accompanied by a 25 percent decline in net income. The company posted $22.4 million in revenues for the quarter ending June 30, 2003, up from $13.7 million for the year-ago period. Net income for the second quarter of 2003 was $743,000, compared with $1.0 million for the second quarter of 2002. This included a one-time charge of $815,000 for an arbitration award in favor of the former shareholders of Union Biometrica.

Harvard Bioscience incurred $1.7 million in R&D expenses for the second quarter of 2002, up slightly from last year’s $1 million.

The company ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $9.2 million, a decrease of approximately $6.1 million since Dec. 31, 2002. $1.3 million in cash was used during the quarter in the settlement of a dispute between the company’s Genomic Solutions subsidiary and Affymetrix.

 

Bruker AXS Partners with Discovery

Bruker AXS of Madison, Wis., a subsidiary of the newly formed Bruker Biosciences, announced last week that it had entered into an alliance with Discovery Partners of San Diego, Calif. to distribute Discovery’s line of protein crystallography products. Discovery Partners makes Crystal Farm, an integrated incubation and imaging system for protein crystallization. The system has the ability to control for 40,000 simultaneous experimental conditions using a web browser-based interface. Results are stored in a database for later mining. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

 

Diversa Awarded $3.2M from NIH for Biodefense Antibody Optimization

Diversa of San Diego. announced last week that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was awarding the company approximately $3.2 million to optimize three antibodies that the US army is already using for the detection of bioterrorism agents.

The antibodies were developed to detect ricin toxin, plague, and alpha-virus. The company will use the money to optimize the binding characteristics of the antibodies.

The NIAID has authorized $890,000 for the first six months of the project.