• 15 March 2011
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Panacea Biotec registers 25% growth

The net turnover of Panacea Biotec (PBT), a research-based health management company, grew by 25 percent at $63 million (284 crore) during the quarter ended December 31, 2010, as compared to $51 million (228 crore) for the corresponding period of previous fiscal. The pharma formulations segment grew by 12 percent with a net turnover of $16 million (71 crore) as compared to $14 million (63 crore) during the corresponding period of previous financial year, supported by 80 percent growth in export  in this quarter. The vaccine segment grew by 29 percent with a net turnover of $47 million (212 crore) as compared to $36 million (164 crore) of previous financial year.

Avasthagen launches AvestaDHA
Avesthagen, a life science company from Bangalore, announced the completion of its first-in-class vegetarian DHA omega 3 essential fatty acid. The project for the development of AvestaDHA - a vegetarian source of DHA (docohexanoic acid) omega 3 essential fatty acid was based on an innovative approach using naturally occurring microalgae.

A novel, Schizochytrium linacinum strain SC-1 was developed by Avesthagen for producing Vegetarian DHA through fermentation. The patented technology has been scaled up and validated for commercialization.

Panacea Biotec Launches PacliALL
Panacea Biotec launched an indigenously developed Albumin bound Paclitaxel particles formulation – PacliALL. PacliALL offers the advantage of improved safety over conventional formulations of Paclitaxel and is meant to be used as a chemotherapeutic agent for the treatment of Breast Cancer. PacliALL would be made available at a price point which is approximately 50 percent lower than competitive products in the domestic and global markets. PacliALL has been developed by Panacea Biotec’s state of the art Global Research and Development (GRAND) Centre, Mumbai.

Takara Bio ties up with DSS imagetech
Japan-based Takara Bio has entered into a joint venture with India-based DSS Imagetech for manufacturing and marketing research reagents in India. A spin-off from the DSS Life Sciences Division, the new company, DSS Takara Bio, will come into effect from April 1, 2011.

As part of the agreement, Takara Bio will hold 51 percent of the share and DSS Imagetech will hold 49 percent share. With the capital of $995,268 (4.5 crore) and 25 employees, the DSS Takara Bio will engage in the manufacturing and sales of research reagents and kits. The joint venture aims at enhancing manufacturing capability to offer competitive research reagent and kits suitable for the regional market needs.

Intercell starts phase II/III study
Intercell, an Austria-based company involved in producing vaccines, and its partner Biological E, an India-based pioneer in preventive medicine, commenced on a pediatric phase II/III study for the vaccine to protect children from Japanese Encephalitis (JE).

The vaccine will be manufactured in India by Biological E based on Intercell’s technology. This randomized and controlled study will be the first pivotal phase II/III study in an endemic region towards licensure of the pediatric JE vaccine. The study will enroll healthy children aged between one and three years across multiple sites in India.

Jubilant shows 32% drop in Q3 revenue
Jubilant Life Sciences, an integrated life sciences company, registered a 32 percent drop in services revenue in the third quarter of FY2011, as services revenue stood at $36.7 million (167 crore) as compared to $54 million (246 crore) in same quarter last year. The last year’s sales in contract manufacturing business, included one-time revenue from H1N1 opportunity of $12 million (55 crore).

In Q3 FY2011, company’s EBITDA was at $29 million (134 crore) with margins at 15.4 percent driven by 23 percent EBITDA margins from products business. Net Profit was at $10 million (44 crore) for the Q3 FY2011.

Stemade launches dental stem cell bank
After introducing dental stem cell banks in Mumbai, New Delhi and Pune; Stemade Biotech, India’s first private dental stem cell bank, launched its new dental stem cell bank in Bangalore. The concept of dental stem cell banking is the first-of-its-kind technology licensed in India by Stemade’s international partner, Institut Clinident, a biotech company in France. Stemade has been licensed with the patent from Institut Clinident of France for dental stem cell banking in Asian markets. Dental stem cell banking is the first of Stemade’s many ventures that makes its breaktrough in the Indian healthcare market.

Credent to enter Ghana market
Credent Technologies, a Mumbai-based agribiotech company has been invited by the Afigya Kwabre District Assembly in the Ashanti region of Ghana to assist the Ghanian farmers and explore the Ghanian market. The company aims to increase  production in Ghana and also to reduce the health risks associated with chemical fertilizers. Promoting the use of crop-friendly products, the company will help the farmers understand about the zero residue products, which helps in agricultural sustainability and environmental impact reduction.

The company offers farm products that are made with 36 herbs like neem, pipli and black pepper. These are safer, more effective, less invasive and more economical than the conventional crop-care products.

Agilent Technologies acquires A2 Technologies
Agilent Technologies, the premier measurement company, has completed the acquisition of specific assets of US-based A2 Technologies. Financial details related to the acquisition were not disclosed.

The acquisition expands Agilent’s spectroscopy business. Substantially all of A2 Technologies’ intellectual property, technology and spectroscopy product portfolio are now part of Agilent’s Spectroscopy Solutions Division within its Chemical Analysis Group. A2 Technologies focuses on fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) technology for lab and field use. The company designed, developed and manufactured FT-IR spectrometers for routine analysis and out-of-lab applications in the petrochemical, environmental, aerospace, art conservation, academia and geosciences markets. Unique, patented technologies acquired from A2 provide high-performance analytical capabilities in a compact form.

Thermo Fisher signs pacts to sell Athena, Lancaster
Thermo Fisher Scientific, the global biosupplier company, has signed definitive agreements to sell its Athena Diagnostics and Lancaster Laboratories businesses for a sum of $940 million in cash. The company reached an agreement to sell Athena Diagnostics to Quest Diagnostics for $740 million.

Athena Diagnostics, based in the US, is a leading reference laboratory that provides comprehensive diagnostic testing for neurological and other diseases, with an emphasis on gene-based tests.

The company also reached an agreement to sell Lancaster Laboratories to Eurofins Scientific for $200 million, subject to a post-closing adjustment.

Lancaster Laboratories is a contract-testing laboratory that provides comprehensive analytical services for pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and environmental sciences customers.

GE Healthcare gets certification for EMR solutions
GE Healthcare has announced that two of its new electronic medical record (EMR) solutions have been certified for ‘meaningful use’. Centricity Practice Solution 10 and Centricity Patient Online 12 are enhancements to existing EMR solutions from GE Healthcare that will help customers achieve ‘meaningful use’ and go beyond, meeting the needs of clinicians and patients with elegant design, intuitive work-flows and easy-to-use features.

Centricity Practice Solution 10 is the evolution of GE Healthcare´s fully-integrated EMR and practice management system for physician practices. Centricity Patient Online 12 is a new release of the company´s established Patient Portal technology, at HIMSS11. Centricity Patient Online creates a single channel of communications that extends the provider work-flow to the patient´s home to help reduce costs, enhance quality, and increase access to care.

Agilent introduces SureSelect RNA Capture Kits
Agilent Technologies has introduced SureSelect RNA Capture Kits. It is the first commercial RNA target enrichment system enabling geneticists to focus on specific genomic loci or transcripts of research interest. The RNA capture kits make it possible to precisely measure expression levels of genes of interest and detect allelic-specific expression, splicing events and gene fusions.

Researchers can use the new RNA capture kits to combine targeted genome and transcriptome data in a single experiment for ‘integrated biology’ insight into the sample. This is accomplished by creating custom SureSelect designs that can enrich up to 6.8 Mb of DNA and RNA for the same set of genes. Agilent’s eArray design tool lets users customize the kits to their exact experimental needs. Agilent has also introduced SureSelect Human Kinome kits for RNA target enrichment.

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