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TLV Kumar, Paul Clark, Michael Ma, Upstate, Galapagos, Agilent, Sigma-Aldrich, Rosetta, Quest Diagnostics, Focus Diagnostics, PerkinElmer, Solexa


TLV Kumar has joined Applied Biosystems as president of Asia Pacific operations. Kumar joins ABI from Philips Medical Systems, where he served as chief operations officer for Asia Pacific. He also is a former managing director of Philips' operations in India.

Kumar will be based in Hong Kong and will lead ABI's operations in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and the 10 nations that comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Paul Clark, chairman, president, and CEO of Icos, has been named to the board of directors of Agilent Technologies. Clark previously served as executive vice president and a board member of Abbott Laboratories, Marion Laboratories, and Sandoz Pharmaceuticals.

Michael Ma has been named director of DNA Production at CytoGenix. Ma joins the firm from Promega, where he served as project manager and head of organic chemistry and oligo synthesis.

BioCommerce Briefs

Upstate to Sell Galapagos' Adenovirus Products

Upstate, a wholly owned subsidiary of Serologicals, will market and sell Galapagos' adenovirus products worldwide, excluding Japan, Galapagos said last week.

In return, Galapagos will receive double-digit royalties on net sales achieved by Upstate.

A "hallmark" of the adenovirus technology is the stability of the knock-in and knock-down protein levels, and the suitability for high-throughput assays using human primary cells, Upstate said.

These features should allow the adenovirus technology to compete effectively in the global market for siRNA reagents. Galapagos retains rights to continue servicing its existing customers for these products.

Serologicals is in the process of being acquired by Millipore in a $1.4-billion deal announced last month (see BioCommerce Week 4/26/2006).

Agilent Sells Palo Alto Headquarters to Real Estate Firm

Agilent Technologies has sold its Palo Alto headquarters to San Francisco real estate firm Jay Paul Co. for an undisclosed sum.

Agilent is in the process of consolidating its operations at its Santa Clara campus, which contains 825,000 square feet of office space. The firm will continue operations in Palo Alto through August.

Late last year, Agilent sold off its semiconductor unit for nearly $2.7 billion and sold its Lumileds joint venture to Philips for roughly $950 million. The firm, which also intends to spin off its system-on-a-chip and memory test businesses, announced the moves last summer as part of a plan to increase profitability and focus on its core life sciences and test and measurement units (see BioCommerce Week 8/18/2005).

Sigma-Aldrich, Rosetta Form Partnership for siRNA Design

Sigma-Aldrich has licensed exclusive rights from Rosetta Inpharmatics to bioinformatics design tools for siRNA research and development purposes, Sigma announced this week.

Sigma intends to use the technology to launch human and model organism siRNA whole genome libraries, to deliver siRNA panels targeted to specific gene families, and to provide access to single-target pre-designed siRNAs through an interface on Sigma's website. Researchers also will have access to products manufactured by the firm's Sigma Genosys and Proligo operations.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Quest Diagnostics to Acquire Focus Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics said last week that it would acquire privately held Focus Diagnostics for approximately $185 million in cash from private equity groups DLJ Merchant Banking and The Sprout Group.

Focus develops tests for infectious and immunologic diseases. Quest expects the acquisition to add annual revenues of $65 million.

Excluded from the deal is Focus Bio-Inova, Focus' pharmaceutical testing operation.

Focus signed a pact in December to develop molecular diagnostic tests using Stratagene's FullVelocity QPCR technology (see BioCommerce Week 12/8/2005). Steve Martin, Stratagene's CEO, told BioCommerce Week via e-mail this week, "We believe that our opportunity with Focus is sound."

PerkinElmer Declares Quarterly Dividend

PerkinElmer's board of directors last week declared a regular quarterly dividend of $.07 per share of common stock payable on Aug. 11 to all shareholders of record on July 21.

Solexa Hopes to Issue $100M Worth of New Equities or Debt

Solexa announced last week that it is trying to obtain permission from the US Securities and Exchange Commission to issue $100 million worth of securities, which may consist of common stock, preferred stock, warrants, debt, or any combination thereof.

The company has filed a universal shelf registration statement on Form S-3. If the statement is declared effective by the SEC, Solexa will be allowed to issue securities in one or more offerings up to a maximum aggregate offering amount of $100 million.

Earlier this year, Solexa raised around $60 million in a private stock placement.

The Scan

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.

Analysis of Endogenous Parvoviral Elements Found Within Animal Genomes

Researchers at PLOS Biology have examined the coevolution of endogenous parvoviral elements and animal genomes to gain insight into using the viruses as gene therapy vectors.

Saliva Testing Can Reveal Mosaic CNVs Important in Intellectual Disability

An Australian team has compared the yield of chromosomal microarray testing of both blood and saliva samples for syndromic intellectual disability in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.