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Invitrogen, Bio-Rad, Alnylam, MWG Biotech, CytRx, Sigma-Aldrich, CombiMatrix


Invitrogen Outbids Bio-Rad to Acquire BioSource for $130 Million in Cash

Invitrogen plans to purchase BioSource International for $130 million in cash, the company said this week.

The acquisition, which has the backing of BioSource's board of directors, is expected to close by the end of the year, following approval by regulators and BioSource stockholders.

BioSource provides proteins, antibodies, and reagents for cytokine and signal transduction assays. During the second quarter of 2005, BioSource had $13 million in net sales, $751,000 in net income, and $7.1 million in cash and cash equivalents. The company has more than 240 employees worldwide.

Invitrogen said the acquisition will bolster its protein and antibody offerings and will help it enter new markets in immunology, oncology, and neurodegenerative disease.

Invitrogen's offer of $130 million, or $12.50 per share, is substantially higher than a bid in April by Bio-Rad Laboratories, which offered $82 million, or $8.50 per share. At the time, BioSource's directors rejected the proposal unanimously. Later that month, Bio-Rad increased its ownership in BioSource to 6.8 percent, citing its "continuing interest" in acquiring the company.

This spring, BioSource was briefly under threat to be delisted from the Nasdaq, after it failed to file its first-quarter financial report in a timely manner.

Alnylam Licenses RNAi IP to MWG Biotech

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals said this week that it has non-exclusively licensed its Kreutzer-Limmer RNA interference patents to MWG Biotech.

Under the license, MWG is allowed to provide research products and services in RNA interference.

The patent family covers short interfering RNAs and their use in mammalian cells. To date, 14 companies have licensed the patents, including eight research tool providers, according to Alnylam. Last week, Sigma-Aldrich became a licensee.

Phase II Trial of CytRx Small Molecule ALS Drug Put on Hold

CytRx said last week that its planned phase II trial for its small molecule treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis has been put on hold by the US Food and Drug Administration.

According to the company, the FDA intends to ask for additional information about the drug, arimoclomol, which was submitted to the agency for clearance for the phase II trial in late May.

"We appreciate the FDA's consideration in carefully reviewing our IND and intend to work diligently with them to address any questions that they may have so that this important study can proceed," Steven Kriegsman, president and CEO of CytRx, said in a statement.

Sigma-Aldrich Reports 27.4-Percent Jump in Q2 Revenues

Sigma-Aldrich this week reported increased revenues and earnings for the second quarter of 2005.

Revenues for the quarter jumped 27.4 percent to $444 million, from $348.6 million during the year-ago period. Revenues were boosted by a 94.5-percent increase in the company's chemicals business.

The firm noted that this particular increase was largely due to industrial cell culture product sales from JRH, which Sigma acquired earlier this year. The company's scientific research business reported a 10.4-percent increase in revenue year over year, while its biotechnology group reported revenue growth of 16.1 percent for the quarter.

In the biotechnology business, the firm said there was steady growth in sales to pharmaceutical customers worldwide and improved growth in sales to academic accounts in Europe and other healthcare-related customers.

Sigma-Aldrich's R&D spending was $13.1 million, up from $10.2 million in the second quarter last year.

The company reported a 4.9-percent increase in net income to $62.5 million, or $.91 per share, up from $59.6 million, or $.91 per share, during the year-ago period.

As of June 30, Sigma-Aldrich had cash and cash equivalents of $130 million.

CombiMatrix Posts Strong Revenue Growth in Q2

Acacia Research this week reported increased revenues and slightly increased losses for its CombiMatrix group in the second quarter of 2005.

CombiMatrix's revenues for the quarter were $1.9 million, up 147 percent over $750,000 during the year-ago period. Revenues from sales of the company's CustomArrays contributed $565,000, more than a 10-fold increase year-over-year.

Research and development costs remained flat, at $1.42 million, compared to $1.41 million during the same quarter last year.

The company's net loss for the quarter was $3.7 million, slightly up from $3.5 million during the year-ago period. Part of this increase was due to greater costs to fulfill a government contract.

As of June 30, CombiMatrix had $16.2 million in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.