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Rosetta Genomics, Rockefeller University, Nastech, Targeted Genetics, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Rosetta Genomics Licenses microRNA Genes from Rockefeller University
Rosetta Genomics said this week that it has non-exclusively licensed the rights to microRNA genes from Rockefeller University for research applications.
The agreement covers viral and human microRNAs that Rosetta intends to add to its existing intellectual property portfolio, which currently includes two issued patents, two allowed patent applications, and 60 pending patent applications, according to the company.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Last year, Rosetta licensed from Rockefeller rights to certain proprietary microRNAs for therapeutic and diagnostic uses (see RNAi News, 6/14/2007).

Nastech Raises $7.93M Through Direct Stock Offering
Nastech Pharmaceutical said last week that it has entered into definitive agreements with new and existing investors to sell $7.93 million in common stock.
Specifically, Nastech will sell about 4.6 million of its shares at $1.73 per share to the investors, who will also receive 7-year warrants to buy an additional 4.6 million shares at $2.38 each.
The investors have further been given the right to buy to roughly 1.4 million shares of Nastech at $2.17 per share during a 90-day period beginning on Oct. 25.
In morning trading on Tuesday, shares of Nastech were trading at around $1.37.

Targeted Genetics Stock Misses Nasdaq Trading Requirements
Targeted Genetics said this week that it has been notified by the Nasdaq Stock Market that its stock has failed to meet minimum trading requirements for listing on the exchange.
According to the company, the notice indicated that, as of April 28, Targeted Genetics stock had been trading below $1 for 30 consecutive days. The company has 180 days to regain compliance by closing at more than $1 for 10 consecutive business days.
During morning trading on Tuesday, shares of Targeted Genetics were trading at $0.95.

Thermo Fisher's Q1 Revenues Rise 9 Percent; Profits Up Sharply
Thermo Fisher Scientific last week reported a 9 percent increase in first-quarter revenues and a 67.7 percent jump in profit year over year.
The life science research products giant also reported revenues of $2.55 billion, up from $2.34 billion in the first quarter of 2007. Currency effects and acquisitions combined contributed 5 percent to the total revenue growth.
Despite the current economic climate and reports of possible belt-tightening among pharmaceutical companies, "our major life sciences and healthcare end markets remained strong overall," Thermo Fisher President and CEO Marijn Dekkers said during a conference call last week. "We have not experienced any change from what we’ve seen over the past few quarters."
He said the firm "did well" among large pharmaceutical customers during the first quarter. "At the same time I think some of our peers have said that in Europe, in particular, it was a slow quarter for higher-cost items in large pharma and we saw the same thing," Dekkers noted. "So, we did see the same behavior in larger European pharma companies of delaying — hopefully delaying orders.”
Thermo Fisher's research and development costs inched up 3.7 percent to $62 million from $59.8 million, while its selling, general, and administrative expenses rose 5.9 percent to $541.6 million from $511.2 million.
The firm posted a first-quarter profit of $233 million, or $0.53 per share, compared to net income of $138.9 million, or $0.31 per share, in last year’s first quarter.
It finished the quarter with $734 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Dekkers said in a statement that as a result of favorable currency translation the company raised its revenue guidance for 2008 to a range of between $10.6 billion and $10.7 billion, which would be 9 percent to 10 percent higher than its fiscal 2007 revenues.

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.