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Aegis Therapeutics, Qiagen, Thermo Electron, Fisher Scientific, Sigma-Aldrich

Aegis Oral Drug-Delivery Technology Used in Antisense Primate Study
Drug delivery firm Aegis Therapeutics said this week that an undisclosed partner has successfully used the company’s Intravail transmucosal absorption enhancement technology to orally delivery a preclinical antisense drug to six primates.
According to the company, the primate study demonstrated systemic bioavailability of the drug of up to 18 percent with the Intravail technology, compared with zero absorption when the drug was delivered orally on its own.

Qiagen Posts 20-Percent Revenue Gain in Q3 on Strong Consumable Sales
Qiagen this week said third-quarter revenues increased 20 percent as R&D spending rose 29 percent and profit increased 10 percent.
Total receipts for the three months ended Sept. 30 increased to $117.9 million from $98.6 million year over year, beating its guidance of $116 million.
The largest gains came from consumables sales, which contributed 20 percent to the growth. Around 7 percent of the quarter’s revenue came from Genaco Biomedical, which Qiagen acquired in October for $22 million in cash.
Sales in Asia also contributed to the company’s expansion as Qiagen saw a 63-percent increase in revenue in Asian markets.
R&D spending increased to $10.1 million from $7.8 million year over year.
The company said profit increased to $19.4 million from $17.6 million in the year-ago period.
Qiagen said it had around $492 million in cash and equivalents as of Sept. 30. 

Thermo, Fisher Complete Merger; Company Execs File to Sell Shares
Thermo Electron and Fisher Scientific last week consummated their $10.6 billion merger.
The resulting firm, Thermo Fisher Scientific, will be based in Waltham, Mass., and will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "TMO."
It will have approximately $9 billion in revenues this year and 30,000 employees.
As expected, Thermo's shareholders wound up owning approximately 39 percent of the combined company while Fisher shareholders own approximately 61 percent, Thermo Fisher Scientific said.
The companies disclosed their plans to merge in May.
This week, Thermo Fisher Scientific said that certain executives have adopted a plan to sell millions of shares of the company’s stock.
The firm said Chairman Paul Meister plans to sell up to 2.25 million shares and CEO Marijn Dekkers plans to sell just over 1 million shares. The sale would leave Meister with 2.25 million shares and Dekkers with 2.9 million shares or equivalents.
Dekkers would acquire the shares he plans to sell when he exercises a stock option that was granted when he joined Thermo in 2000. The option expires in July 2007.
Thermo Fisher Scientific said the plan by Meister, Dekkers, and other “certain executive officers” is based on US Securities and Exchange Commission stock-trading rules.
Dekkers’ and Meister’s shares amount to around 2 percent of the company’s outstanding shares.

Sigma-Aldrich OKs $0.21 Dividend
Sigma-Aldrich’s board this week said it will issue an additional share of common stock for each share held as of Dec. 1, 2006.
The board also said it has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.21 per share, which it will pay Dec.15.
On Oct. 27 Sigma-Aldrich reported that revenue and profit grew 7 percent in the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2006.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.