• 9 February 2006
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Thermo opens demo center in India

Marijn Dekkers
Marijn Dekkers

Thermo opens demo center in India

Thermo Electron Corporation has opened a new customer demonstration laboratory in Mumbai to serve the local pharmaceutical, petroleum/petrochemical, automobile, environmental and agricultural market sectors. The new center is equipped with state-of-the-art customer demonstration and training facilities. The new facility offers customers with hands-on experience with Thermo's laboratory and manufacturing process solutions.

The demonstration center has a house laboratory and life sciences solutions including ion trap and triple quadrupole mass spectrometers, centrifuges, incubators and microplate instruments, along with several process instruments. Customers visiting the facility will have the opportunity to receive training on these solutions and will be able to analyze samples before making purchase decisions.

The new facility in Mumbai is one of three major centers Thermo has opened over the past two years. Early November, Thermo opened a 43,000 sqft customer service and demonstration laboratory center in Shanghai, China. Speaking at the inaugural function, Marijn Dekkers, president and CEO of Thermo Electron Corporation said, "The new facility in Mumbai is part of our associated global business strategy and planned development activities. Housing excellent customer demonstration and training facilities, the new site will help Thermo to successfully foster a culture of innovation and respond to our customers needs in this region."

He further said, "Building Thermo's capabilities throughout India and across Asia is a logical and important part of this growth strategy. India and the surrounding regions represent a major market for laboratory and process instrumentation, and therefore, a tremendous opportunity for long-term growth and expansion for Thermo."

Agilent Technologies expands HPLC-Chip/MS with five new chips

Agilent Technologies has expanded its line of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) chip/mass spectrometry (MS) modules, introducing five chips for the study of small and large molecules.

Agilent's HPLC-Chip technology combines nanoflow HPLC with an electrospray ionization source in a reusable microfluidic chip, which is smaller than a credit card. Agilent's first two HPLC-Chips, the Protein ID chip and the MS Calibration and Diagnostic chip, were introduced about a year ago. Based on enthusiastic customer response, Agilent developed the additional five chips to cover a wider range of applications.

The HPLC-Chip/MS makes the dramatic sensitivity increases promised by nanospray LC/MS attainable by more researchers, thanks to elimination of half the fittings and connections of conventional nanoflow LC/MS systems. This reduces the potential for leaks and dead volumes while significantly simplifying workflow and reliability.

"Agilent strives to streamline customers' entire workflows," said Chris van Ingen, president of Agilent's chemical analysis and life sciences group. "The plug-and-play aspects of these chips unlock the profound benefits of nanoflow analysis for researchers hindered by the complexities of conventional nanoflow systems."

Praj Industries entering developed countries

Praj Industries, a global player in ethanol technology is entering the developed markets of the EU and the US. A breakthrough order has been received from a European beet sugar company for engineering and supply of equipment for the very first fuel ethanol project to be set up in the UK.

Praj has been working with a number of feed stocks for ethanol production and has set up plants based on maize, sorghum, rice and even tapioca.

"With production of ethanol doubling the world over, it is expected that opportunities will also expand. As envisaged, we see a surge of interest in ethanol as a fuel amongst countries as small as Malawi to as large as the US. It just shows that ethanol is here to grow and will become only more attractive as the usage increases," said Pramod Chaudhari, chairman, Praj Industries.

"In India, there is an expansion in the market also due to beverage alcohol which is being produced from grains. As ethanol becomes writing on the wall, we will see more and more interest in grains. We are treating this year as a consolidation year in preparation of the volume growth in business in the coming period. These opportunities are expected to give Praj a major fillip in the coming year," added Pramod Chaudhari.

Praj has already started gearing up in the past 6-8 months. It has already invested in expansion of its manufacturing capacity and R&D facility. The technical manpower base has also gone up. It has demonstrated its commitment to customers in India and overseas by investing in innovative solutions at its R&D Center.

QIAGEN, Eppendorf tie up to deliver life science solutions

QIAGEN N.V. and Eppendorf AG have formed a strategic alliance that includes co-development and co-marketing of complementary and optimized products. The alliance is intended to link two of the strongest brands and product lines in the industry to ensure the highest compatibility of their products targeting the research, applied testing and molecular diagnostics.

Through the alliance, QIAGEN and Eppendorf intend to focus on improving biological sample management and analysis. The availability of combined and optimized products should create significant benefits for customers in research, applied testing and molecular diagnostics.

In addition QIAGEN has acquired Eppendorf's reagent business that includes the Eppendorf "5-Prime" nucleic acid sample preparation and PCR reagent product lines and related intellectual property. The acquired assets represent an attractive portfolio of preanalytical and nucleic acid amplification consumables as well as a very promising pipeline of proprietary technologies for nucleic acid handling, separation, purification and amplification. The assets add to QIAGEN's core strategic focus. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

QIAGEN expects the business to add $6 million in net sales in 2006 and $11 million in 2007 and be slightly dilutive to earnings per share based on net income excluding acquisition and restructuring charges by $0.01 in 2006 and accretive to earnings per share based on net income excluding acquisition and restructuring charges by $0.01 in 2007. QIAGEN expects to incur one-time charges relating to the acquisition of approximately $3 million in the fourth quarter 2005.

Robert Honor

"Adopt science-based manufacturing to reduce costs"

"Life sciences companies can lower costs, improve yields, reduce inventory and provide product faster to the market if they adopt science-based manufacturing widely, " said Robert Honor, vice president - life sciences industry, Rockwell Automation, USA.

Honor who was in Mumbai recently informed that due to risk average nature, the life sciences companies have been slow to adopt. But he noted that the change has been happening. "The recent trends to improve manufacturing in all aspects come from changes in regulators. First, acceptance of risk based approach to simplify operations. Second, science-based manufacturing instead of traditional process recipe-based manufacturing. The introduction and acceptance by FDA of process analytical technology (PAT) is the prime example," he said.

To help the life sciences companies to solve their short-term business needs as well as to achieve a long term strategy for success, he said, "Rockwell brings a wealth of experience to the life sciences industry to 100 years of knowledge improving manufacturing operations. For this four key goals could be accomplished, namely faster time to market, more efficient operations, better asset utilization and reduced regulatory risk."



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