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Alnylam, Fisher, BioImage, Sigma, CombiMatrix, CMD Group

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Alnylam to Present Phase I RSV Data at PAS Meeting

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals said this week that it will present data from its phase I trials of its respiratory syncytial virus drug ALN-RSV01 at the 2006 Pediatric Academic Societies' annual meeting being held in San Francisco.

The firm will discuss the results on April 30 during a plenary session entitled "RNA Interference, Technological Development of siRNAs and Potential Treatments for Childhood Diseases." It will also discuss the results on May 1 during a platform session entitled "Infectious Diseases II."


Fisher Acquires BioImage in Bid to Grow High-Content Cell-based Assay Play

Fisher Biosciences said this week that it has acquired BioImage for an undisclosed amount in an effort to expand its high-content screening and analysis reagent portfolio.

BioImage plays in the high-content pathway-analysis market. Its Redistribution technology monitors protein translocation within a cell.

Fisher said BioImage, based in Copenhagen, Denmark, complements its Cellomics business, which sells automated imaging instruments, BioApplication image-analysis software, high content informatics software, and HitKit HCS reagent kits.

Fisher will continue BioImage's operations in Copenhagen.

Additional details were not disclosed.


Sigma's Q1 Sales Jump 10.8 Percent Amid R&D Spending Growth and Profit Decline

Sigma-Aldrich this week reported that first-quarter sales rose 10.8 percent as R&D spending grew 8.3 percent and net income shrank 10 percent.

Total receipts for the three months ended March 31 increased to $443 million from $400 million year over year.

R&D spending in the period grew to $13 million from $11.7 million in the year-ago period.

Profits in the first quarter declined to $66.5 million, or $.98 per diluted share, from $74.6 million, or $1.07 per diluted share, year over year.

Sigma said it had around $118.3 million in cash and equivalents as of March 31.


CombiMatrix Reports Meager Q1 Revenue Growth as CMD Group Drives R&D Spend; Losses More Than Double

CombiMatrix last week said that first-quarter revenue inched up 2 percent as R&D spending and net losses more than doubled.

Total receipts for the three months ended March 31 increased to $1.2 million from $1 million in the year-ago period.

Year over year, revenue from government contracts fell to $264,000 from $731,000; receipts from product sales surged to $924,000 from $278,000; while revenue from service contracts contracted by $30,000 to $57,000, CombiMatrix said.

The decrease in government contracts was due to completion of the company's "commitments under its previous $5.9 million biological threat detection contract with the Department of Defense in December 2005. A new $2.1 million contract to further the development of its biological and chemical detector system was executed in February of 2006, resulting in lower contract costs in the first quarter of 2006 than in the comparable 2005 period," CombiMatrix said in a statement.

"Our product and service revenue is increasing nicely, and this trend should continue as our products continue to gain acceptance with our customers," CombiMatrix President Amit Kumar said in the statement. "Additionally, the launch of products from our diagnostics division, earlier than originally planned, will augment our revenue growth.

"Our defense contracting revenue for the quarter was modest due to an unforeseen delay in initiation of our new government contract," Kumar said. "We expect this revenue to increase in the following quarters."

R&D spending in the period increased to $2.4 million from $1.1 million year over year. This increase was due "primarily" to developments ongoing at the CombiMatrix Molecular Diagnostics division.

The company said net losses increased to $7.7 million from $3 million in the year-ago period. The current quarter's loss included non-cash stock compensation, patent amortization and depreciation charges totaling $1.2 million versus $427,000 in the comparable 2005 period.

The Scan

Highly Similar

Researchers have uncovered bat viruses that are highly similar to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Gain of Oversight

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Biden Administration is considering greater oversight of gain-of-function research.

Lasker for mRNA Vaccine Work

The Scientist reports that researchers whose work enabled the development of mRNA-based vaccines are among this year's Lasker Award winners

PLOS Papers on Causal Variant Mapping, Ancient Salmonella, ALK Fusion Test for NSCLC

In PLOS this week: MsCAVIAR approach to map causal variants, analysis of ancient Salmonella, and more.