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Invitrogen Discloses $20M VisiGen Acquisition; Posts 15-Percent Q3 Revenue Growth

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Invitrogen said today that it has acquired VisiGen Biotechnologies, a developer of real-time single-molecule sequencing technology, for $20 million.
 
Invitrogen disclosed the purchase as part of its third-quarter financial report, in which it recorded a 15 percent increase in revenues to $362 million from $315 million in the third quarter of 2007.
 
The company attributed the revenue boost to “increased royalty revenue, improved price and volume in all regions, as well as positive currency benefits.” Organic revenue growth was 10 percent, while revenue from foreign exchange contributed around $11 million, or three percentage points of growth.
 
Third-quarter revenue growth by region, excluding impact from currency, was 11 percent in the Americas, 8 percent in Europe, and 11 percent in Asia Pacific.
 
Third-quarter revenue for Invitrogen’s BioDiscovery division rose 13 percent to $249 million from $220 million in the year-ago period. Organic revenue growth for the division was 10 percent.
 
Cell Systems revenue climbed 19 percent year over year, to $112 million from $95 million in the third quarter of 2007. Organic revenue growth for this division was also 10 percent.
 
Invitrogen’s third-quarter R&D spending rose 10 percent to $31 million from $29 million in the comparable period of 2007. Third-quarter R&D spending for BioDiscovery grew 7 percent, to $26 million, while third-quarter R&D spending for Cell Systems rose 35 percent to $4.6 million.
 
Sales and marketing expenses climbed 12 percent to $72 million from $64 million, while general and administrative costs grew 15 percent to $47 million from $40 million.
 
Net income fell 19 percent to $25 million, or $.26 per share, from $31 million, or $.32 per share, in the third quarter of 2007.
 
As of Sept. 30, Invitrogen held $676 million in cash and short-term investments.
 
Invitrogen said it expects fourth-quarter 2008 organic revenue to increase in the mid single digits, while earnings per share should increase at a rate of one and a half to two times that of total revenue.
 
The company said that its acquisition of VisiGen, which took place during the quarter, “further enhances” its intellectual property estate in single molecule DNA sequencing, but did not provide further details of the acquisition.
 
VisiGen, based in Houston, Texas, was founded in 2000. The company has received undisclosed investments from Applied Biosystems and SeqWright, and is supported by grants from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Human Genome Research Institute, and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.
 
The company is developing a technology platform that uses engineered DNA polymerase to detect modified nucleotides, which could eventually enable researchers to sequence a human genome in less than a day for under $1,000.
 
VisiGen officials previously said that the firm planned to launch a service based around its sequencing technology by the end of next year, and would follow that with the launch of equipment and reagents in another 18 months to two years.

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