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Robert Friel, Peter Coggins, Aaron Geist, Janet Lankard, Agilent, BD Biosciences, Affymetrix, IDT


PerkinElmer this week appointed Robert Friel as president of the Life and Analytical Sciences division. He succeeds Peter Coggins, who will retire in February, but will continue to support the company as a senior advisor and consultant through mid-2007.

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing by PerkinElmer this week, Friel also will continue to serve as vice chairman of the firm and as a member of its board of directors. As a result of his promotion, Friel's annual base salary will be increased to $550,000, effective Feb. 1.

Prior to his appointment, Friel served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of PerkinElmer. Prior to joining PerkinElmer, Friel held several senior management positions at AlliedSignal, now Honeywell International. Friel also serves on the boards of Millennium Pharmaceuticals and Fairchild Semiconductor.

The promotion was announced one week after the firm said it had hired former investment analyst Aaron Geist as vice president of business development.

Janet Lankard has been named vice president of sales and technology collaborations at VisEn Medical, the imaging company said last week.

Lankard joins VisEn from Quantum Dot, where she served as vice president of sales and technical support. She also worked at Affymetrix from 1998 to 2004, where she worked first as a regional sales manager and later as director of sales and technical support for North America west. Before joining Affy, Lankard was an executive sales account manager at Applied Biosystems from 1991 to 1998.

Lankard holds a BSc in biochemistry from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.

BioCommerce Briefs

Agilent Pays $98M for Yokogawa's Stake in Gas Chromatography JV

Agilent Technologies and Yokogawa Electric said this week that their joint venture, Yokogawa Analytical Systems, will become a wholly owned Agilent subsidiary effective Feb. 1.

Yokogawa will receive around $106 million from the transaction, including $98 million from Agilent for its 49-percent share in the joint venture and $7.5 million in dividends from Yokogawa Analytical Systems.

The companies formed the joint venture in 1992 to develop and market the ICP/MS, an analytical system used in gas chromatography.

At the time, Agilent transferred its sales and support of advanced laboratory analytical systems to Yokogawa Analytical Systems, while Yokogawa Electric transferred all of its laboratory business, including equipment under development, to the joint venture.

The joint venture had sales of more than $160 million in fiscal 2005, the companies said.

Agilent and Yokogawa said in a statement that the joint venture had "achieved its original objectives set 13 years ago," and that Agilent decided to make Yokogawa Analytical Systems a wholly owned subsidiary in order to expand the market presence for its products and services in Japan.

BD Biosciences Q1 Revenue Grows 10 Percent

Becton Dickinson last week said that fiscal first-quarter revenue for its Biosciences division grew more than 10 percent while overall receipts at the life sciences company increased 10 percent as well.

Total receipts for the Biosciences unit during the three months ended Dec. 31, 2005, increased to $199.5 million from $180.8 million year over year. Around $85 million of that was from sales in the United States, representing a 12.7-percent increase in sales to that country. The remainder, or approximately $114 million, was in international sales, which represented an 8.7-percent increase in sales.

BD attributed the growth to strong sales of reagents and research instruments, particularly research analyzers and sorters.

BD said company-wide fiscal first-quarter revenue increased 10 percent to $1.4 billion, though "unfavorable" foreign-currency translations cost the firm 1 percent in lost growth.

Spending on R&D increased 11.7 percent in the quarter, jumping to $69.3 million from $62 million year over year, BD said.

The company said profits increased 11.5 percent to $217.9 million, or $.88 per basic share, from $195.4 million, or $.78 per basic share, during the same period last year.

BD did not break out its balance sheet for the quarter.

Affymetrix's Q4 Revenues up 3.5 Percent, But Profits Fall

Affymetrix last week reported a 3.5-percent increase in revenues for the fourth quarter of 2005.

Total revenue for the fourth quarter inched up to $111.5 million from $107.7 million during the year-ago period.

Affymetrix's Q4 revenues were approximately $6 million dollars above its last projection of $105 million. The company had cut its fourth-quarter revenue projection twice since the fall of 2005, citing "growing pains" as it brought new products into potential markets.

Affy's fourth-quarter profit fell 8.2 percent to $24.8 million, or $0.35 per share, from $27.1 million, or $0.41 per share, during the fourth quarter of 2004.

R&D spending during the period decreased to $19.7 million from $20.5 million year-over-year.

As of Dec. 31, 2005, Affymetrix had $100 million in cash and cash equivalents.

For fiscal 2006, Affymetrix predicted product and product-related revenue of about $400 million, and total revenue of about $420 million.

For the first quarter of 2006, Affy projected product and product-related revenue of $87 million, and total revenue of about $91 million.

IDT Opens San Diego-based Oligo Facility

Integrated DNA Technologies has opened a new production center in San Diego, the company said last week.

IDT West Coast Operations is the company's first satellite production facility and gives IDT an immediate, local, next-day oligo production capability in the region, the heart of California's biotech industry. IDT obtained the facility after acquiring custom oligo supplier GenBase.

IDT also announced it is expanding its Coralville, Iowa, headquarters. The 77,000-square-foot addition, to be finished in February, will double the center's capacity and allow IDT to add up to 160 employees over the next two years, the company said.

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.