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Steve Noblitt, Greg Lucier, GE Healthcare, Gene Logic, Nyrion, GE Healthcare, ABI, Affy, IBM, INMEGEN, Sigma-Aldrich, Alnylam Serologicals, Invitrogen


Nonlinear Dynamics has promoted Steve Noblitt to the position of US sales manager within the company's US subsidiary, Nonlinear USA Inc. Noblitt has served as Nonlinear's Midwest sales manager for four years. Prior to that, he worked for Molecular Dynamics and Amersham Pharmacia Biotech (now GE Healthcare) as a field applications specialist.

Invitrogen Chairman and CEO Greg Lucier was elected to the board of directors of the Biotechnology Industry Organization last week.



BioCommerce Briefs

GE Healthcare Posts 12-Percent Revenue Growth for Q2

GE Healthcare's revenues increased 12 percent to $3.8 billion during the second quarter year over year, the company reported last week.

The business unit, which incorporated Amersham Biosciences last April, contributed 9 percent to GE's overall quarterly revenues of $41.6 billion, similar to the same period in 2004. GE's total second-quarter revenues were up 13 percent over last year's $36.8 billion.

Second-quarter receipts for GE Healthcare in the Americas increased 11 percent year over year, revenue in Europe were up 12 percent, and revenue in Asia grew 9 percent, GE's Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said during a conference call with investors.

Immelt also said that the Biosciences unit, which houses assets from its purchase of Amersham Biosciences, had a "good quarter," with revenues up 9 percent and operating profit up 13 percent. He said that growth in the unit was driven by strength in medical diagnostics and protein separations.

Revenues for medical diagnostics were up 15 percent, while revenues for its protein separations products increased 18 percent. "The future looks pretty strong for both of them," Immelt said. "The margin in Biosciences went from 10 percent to 18 percent, so we saw the lift we expected as we grew the revenue, and the outlook is very strong."

Healthcare had $672 million in profits, up 15 percent from $584 million during the same period last year.

During the call, GE officials said that they expect Healthcare revenues to increase 10 percent, with profit growth of 15 percent, in the third quarter.

Net earnings for parent company General Electric amounted to $4.6 billion, up 24 percent from $3.8 billion in the second quarter of last year. Earnings per share were $.44, up 22 percent over last year's $.36 during the same period.

As of June 30, GE had $146 billion in cash and marketable securities.

GE Healthcare to Distribute Gene Logic's
Gene Expression Analysis System

GE Healthcare will be the global distributor for Gene Logic's Sciantis online gene expression-analysis system, Gene Logic said this week.

Under the terms of the agreement, GE Healthcare will distribute Sciantis in 32 countries, and will be the exclusive distributor in Japan.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Gene Logic said that Sciantis was developed for use by researchers in academia, government, and research organizations. The browser-based gene-expression application, based on Gene Logic's gene-expression reference database, enables researchers to profile the expression of more than 6,000 human, rat, and mouse genes in normal and diseased tissue, Gene Logic said.

Also this week, GE's Infrastructure, Water, and Process Technologies business and GenProbe announced a deal to co-develop technology for detecting microorganisms in water.

The firms will manufacture and commercialize nucleic acid-testing technology for detecting genetic sequences of microorganisms in selected water applications.

Scottish Group Gets Accreditation from GE
Healthcare to Offer CodeLink Array Services

Nyrion, a gene knockdown and expression-analysis shop, has been accredited by GE Healthcare to offer CodeLink microarrays as part of an expression-analysis service, officials from both companies confirmed this week.

Peter Estibeiro, managing director of the Edinburgh, Scotland-based start-up, said that Nyrion has been accredited to offer CodeLink as part of its service in the UK market, as well as to international customers.

Estibeiro spoke with BioCommerce Week sister publication GenomeWeb News at the BioScience 2005 conference, held in Glasgow this week.

Penny Owen, a GE Healthcare marketing director, confirmed the deal had closed in recent weeks. An official announcement from both parties is pending, according to Estibeiro.

In addition to the CodeLink offering, Nyrion sells antisense and siRNA reagents on its AccessArray 4000 system, as well as other reagents, according to the company's commercial literature.

ABI, Affy, IBM Partner With
Mexican Genomic Medicine Institute

Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Medicina Genomica (INMEGEN) next week will unveil three new units formed in collaboration with Applied Biosystems, Affymetrix, and IBM, INMEGEN said this week.

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony to be held next week at the INMEGEN facilities in Mexico City, the institute will open its Applied Biosystems Sequencing and Genotyping Unit, which has partnered with ABI. The institute also will be introducing an Affymetrix Gene Expression Analysis unit, and an IBM Bioinformatics unit, INMEGEN said.

INMEGEN was established in 2004 as part of Mexico's National Institutes of Health to improve the health care of Mexican people by "focusing on the unique genetic makeup of its population, diseases, and conditions that specifically burden Mexican people," the institute said in a statement.

Applied Biosystems and INMEGEN will undertake the largest genotyping study in Latin America to date as part of their collaboration, INMEGEN said.

Additional details were not disclosed.

Sigma-Aldrich Licenses RNAi Patents from Alnylam

Sigma-Aldrich has licensed a number of RNA interference patents known as the Kreutzer-Limmer patent family from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals to provide research products and services, the companies said this week.

The patents cover short-interfering RNAs and their use to mediate RNA interference in mammalian cells.

Including Sigma, 12 companies have taken licenses to Alnylam's patent estate so far, including seven reagent and service providers.

Sigma entered the RNAi market earlier this year with the purchase of gene-silencing technology firm Proligo from Germany's Degussa. Among Proligo's assets is a license to RNAi technology covered by patents held by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Whitehead Institute, the Max-Planck Institute, Carnegie Institution of Washington, and the University of Massachusetts.

Serologicals Restructures Research
Segment, Hopes to Save $3.5M Annually

Serologicals will lay off 23 positions in its Lake Placid, NY, business and offer relocation options to 39 additional employees, BioCommerce Week sister publication GenomeWeb News has learned.

The job cuts, which also include 13 staffers in the company's Temecula, Calif., facility, is part of Serologicals' efforts to cut costs in its research segment by $3 million to $3.5 million a year. Employees offered relocation would mainly work in Serologicals' Chemicon International business, located in Temecula.

The Atlanta-based company said it will integrate several functions of its Upstate and Chemicon units through the remainder of the year, including business segment management, R&D/business development, marketing, technical support, scientific sourcing, intellectual property/licensing, and finance and accounting.

Serologicals said it expects to incur between $2 million and $3 million in one-time costs related to severance payments, retention payments, and relocation costs that it will record in the third quarter.

Serologicals, which has more than 1,000 employees worldwide, operates three companies: Chemicon International, based in Temecula; Upstate Group, based in Charlottesville, Va.; and Celliance, based in Atlanta.

Invitrogen Opens Australian cGMP Facility

Invitrogen has opened a new cGMP bioproduction facility in New South Wales, Australia, focused on the development of bovine sera products and reagents used in basic research and the production of vaccines and biotherapeutic drugs.

Invitrogen CEO Greg Lucier said in a statement that although "industry is transitioning to advanced media and animal-free products, there is still a need to support researchers using traditional methodologies and to provide our customers worldwide with a safe, reliable source for these products."

The firm noted that Australia is one of a few countries regarded as being free from bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

The Scan

Transcriptomic, Epigenetic Study Appears to Explain Anti-Viral Effects of TB Vaccine

Researchers report in Science Advances on an interferon signature and long-term shifts in monocyte cell DNA methylation in Bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated infant samples.

DNA Storage Method Taps Into Gene Editing Technology

With a dual-plasmid system informed by gene editing, researchers re-wrote DNA sequences in E. coli to store Charles Dickens prose over hundreds of generations, as they recount in Science Advances.

Researchers Model Microbiome Dynamics in Effort to Understand Chronic Human Conditions

Investigators demonstrate in PLOS Computational Biology a computational method for following microbiome dynamics in the absence of longitudinally collected samples.

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.