Industry news in brief

By Dr Matt Wilkinson

- Last updated on GMT brings you its periodic round-up of industry
news with Inverness winning the bidding war for Biosite, Bio-Rad
agreeing to purchase DiaMed, and news from Ciphergen, Eksigent,
Siemens and Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Inverness Medical​ and Biosite​ have agreed a merger agreement after Beckman Coulter​ pulled out of a six-week bidding war. Inverness trumped Beckman Coulter's $90 (€67) per share offer with a bid of $92.50. Biosite has informed Beckman Coulter that the offer from Inverness Medical is a "superior proposal"​ and has terminated its merger agreement with Beckman Coulter who will receive a termination fee of $54m. Bio-Rad​ has agreed to pay $390m for a 77 per cent stake in laboratory diagnostic producer DiaMed​. After the initial deal is closed, Bio-Rad will conduct a tender offer to acquire the outstanding and, subject to closing conditions and regulatory approval, expects to close the deal later this year. "DiaMed has an outstanding reputation for quality products and customer care and we believe this portfolio of products will fit in well with Bio-Rad's existing diagnostics business,"​ said John Goetz, Bio-Rad vice president and group manager of Clinical Diagnostics. Ciphergen Biosystems​ has posted a $6m first quarter loss in 2007, up from $5.5m for the same period last year. After selling its life science research business to Bio-Rad​ last November, the company has stated that it does not expect to have any revenue until it has commercialised its diagnostic tests. The company has appointed Steve Lundy, formerly of GeneOhm​, as senior vice president of Sales and Marketing to assist with "the launch and commercialization of several high-value tests." Ciphergen's board has also voted to change the company name to Vermillion Inc​. which "befits the substantial transformation that has occurred over the last 15 months and provides a new underpinning from which to build a significant diagnostics company."Eksigent​ has further expanded its global distribution network by signing an agreement with Norway's Houm AS for the sale and service of its NanoLC HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography) product line. "We have added Houm to our growing global network because of their well-established reach in the Norwegian research market,"​ commented David Weber, CEO of Eksigent. Siemens​ has named Peter Loescher, the head of human health at Merck​ and former head of GE Healthcare​'s bioscience division as its new CEO. The move comes after current CEO, Klaus Kleinfeld, announced he will step down from the position with the company embroiled in several bribery scandals. "I am convinced that Mr. Loescher has what it takes to steer Siemens through its current difficulties and into a better future,"​ said Gerhard Cromme, Siemen's Chairman. Thermo Fisher Scientific​ has expanded its biomarker research initiative in mass spectrometry (BRIMS​) centre to include clinical validation and application assays. "The centre's focus is shifting. Proteomics is evolving and as proteomics has gone from a science that was really more discovery based into a science that is becoming now more quantitative and has applications in the clinical world,"​ said Mary Lopez, director of the BRIMS centre.

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