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Thomas Schuelein, Douglas Skinner, Kenneth L. Horton, Samir Kaul, Matt Rieke, Richard Kollender, Geeta Vemuri, Barbara Gyure, Eppendorf, ABI, Fisher, Covalys, Bruker, and more


With the completion of its purchase of two X-ray microanalysis businesses, Bruker AXS announced that Thomas Schuelein, previously with Roentec, has been named vice president for microanalysis. Douglas Skinner, previously with Princeton Gamma-Tech Instruments, has been appointed assistant vice president for microanalysis.

Kenneth L. Horton has been appointed executive vice-president and general counsel for MDS, the company said yesterday. He will join MDS at the start of December. Horton was vice president and general counsel for the Life and Analytical Sciences business unit of PerkinElmer prior to this appointment. He practiced corporate law with Boston's Ropes and Gray and a strategy consultant in the U.S. and Europe.

He has a J.D. from Harvard Law School and an A.B. from Dartmouth College.

Flagship Ventures has named Samir Kaul as partner. Kaul is the founding CEO of Codon Devices and co-founder of Helicos BioSciences. He was also a co-founder and startup president of Epitome Biosystems, where he remains on the board. He played an active role in other Flagship companies, including BG Medicine (formerly Beyond Genomics), Genstruct, and Morphotek. Previously, he worked at the Institute for Genomic Research and was chairperson of the Arabidopsis Genome Initiative.

Quaker BioVentures announced this week that it has promoted Matt Rieke and Richard Kollender to partner and has promoted Geeta Vemuri to vice president.

Rieke is a founding principal of the Philadelphia-based venture capital firm. He previously served as a principal at PA Early Stage and worked for the University of Pennsylvania Center for Technology Transfer.

Kollender joined Quaker as a principal in 2003 and previously worked in sales, marketing, business development and venture capital at GlaxoSmithKline. Vemuri joined Quaker in 2003 as a senior associate after serving as an associate at Toucan Capital. Prior to that, she was an equity analyst at Salomon Smith Barney and First Union Securities.

Barbara Gyure has joined Nutter McClennen & Fish as a partner. She joins the firm from Palmer & Dodge, where she was co-leader of the biotechnology patent practice. Gyure also spent several years as senior patent counsel of Wyeth and the Genetics Institute.

BioCommerce Briefs

Eppendorf Licenses ABI's RT-PCR Patents

Applied Biosystems has granted Eppendorf a worldwide, royalty-bearing license to its real-time thermal cycler patents, ABI said last week.

The patents covered by the deal are US Patent No. 6,814,934 and foreign equivalents, ABI said.

According to ABI, Eppendorf will have the right to manufacture and sell real-time thermal cyclers in the research and applied fields.

Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.

Fisher Unit, Covalys to Develop Protein Tags

Covalys Biosciences and Fisher Biosciences unit Pierce Biotechnology will jointly develop and promote products related to Covalys' SNAP-tag technology, Pierce said this week.

Under the agreement, Pierce and Covalys will promote products for protein-chemistry applications. Pierce will develop products based on Covalys' biotin SNAP-tag ligands in combination with its streptavidin and NeutrAvidin-coated microplates.

The Basel, Switzerland-based company's SNAP-tag is a self-labeling protein tag that links chemical probes to any protein of interest without prior purification and with high stability.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Bruker Completes Acquisitions of X-ray Microanalysis Firms

Bruker AXS announced this week that it had completed the acquisitions of Roentec and the microanalysis business of Princeton Gamma-Tech Instruments.

Bruker said it has combined the two units into a newly created 'Bruker AXS Microanalysis' business, which is overseen by Executive Vice President Roger Durst, with operations in Berlin, Coventry, UK, Madison, Wis., and Princeton, N.J.

The PGT X-ray microanalysis business had annual revenues of between $5 million and $6 million, while Roentec generates between $6 million and $7 million in annual revenues.

The AXS Microanalysis business will focus on a market worth around $150 million per year, Bruker said.

Solexa's Q3 Revenues Rise; Company Reaffirms Launch Date for Sequencer

Solexa this week reported an increase in revenues for the quarter ended Sept. 30 and reaffirmed its production timeline for 2006.

Solexa's revenues for the third quarter rose to $844,000 from $31,000 in the same period a year ago. The reported financial results for third quarter 2005 include results from Lynx Therapeutics, which was merged into Solexa earlier this year. The financial results from 2004 do not include Lynx.

Solexa generates revenue from service fees from its genomics service business. Revenue does not yet reflect fees from Solexa's reversible-terminator and the Clonal Single Molecule Array DNA sequencing platform.

Last month Solexa demonstrated that the technology could be used to sequence a 162,000-base-pair BAC from the HLA region — proof, it said, that the platform can "achieve the data quality, read length, and coverage uniformity required for economical and rapid resequencing of human DNA." (see BioCommerce Week 10/20/2005).

"We are on track with our stated milestones of completing the introduction of our genetic analysis instrument later this year and continue to expect commercial instrument sales in the first half of 2006," John West, chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The company spent $4.5 million on research and development costs this quarter.

Solexa reported a net loss for the third quarter 2005 of $10.8 million, or $.43 per share, from $3.2 million, or $3.07 per share, year over year.

Solexa ended the third quarter with approximately $19 million in cash and cash investments as of Sept. 30.

Ciphergen Dropped from Nasdaq Biotech Index

Ciphergen Biosystems has been removed from the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index as part of an semi-annual update, the exchange said this week.

The index currently lists 152 companies. As part of the re-ranking, seven will be removed and 17 added. The changes take effect at the start of trading on Monday, Nov. 21.

The exchange updates NBI semi-annually, in May and November. Securities must meet the maintenance criteria of $100 million in market capitalization and 50,000 shares average daily trading volume to remain in the index. Securities missing the criteria for two consecutive rankings are removed.

Shimadzu Opens Mass Spec Lab in Maryland

Shimadzu opened a new mass spectrometry laboratory at its Columbia, Md., headquarters, the company said last week.

The new biotech applications laboratory will support US customers and conduct research and development work. The laboratory will be the central US facility for developing methods.

The laboratory will be staffed by five applications chemists and assisted by technical support personnel in the field.

NOTE: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the US, BioCommerce Week will be published on Tuesday, Nov. 22. We will resume our normal publication schedule on Thursday, Dec. 1.

The Scan

UK Team Presents Genetic, Epigenetic Sequencing Method

Using enzymatic DNA preparation steps, researchers in Nature Biotechnology develop a strategy for sequencing DNA, along with 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, on existing sequencers.

DNA Biobank Developed for French Kidney Donors, Recipients

The KiT-GENIE biobank described in the European Journal of Human Genetics contains DNA samples, genotyping profiles, immune patterns, and clinical features for thousands of kidney donors or transplant recipients in Nantes, France.

Cardiometabolic Disease May Have Distinct Associations With Microbial Metabolites in Blood, Gut

By analyzing gut microbes in combination with related metabolites in feces and blood, researchers in Nature Communications found distinct cardiometabolic disease relationships at each site.

Study Reveals New Details About Genetics of Major Cause of Female Infertility

Researchers in Nature Medicine conducted a whole-exome sequencing study of mote than a thousand patients with premature ovarian insufficiency.