Thermo Fisher Scientific (Waltham, Massachusetts) said it has acquired SwissAnalytic Group (Basel, Switzerland), which owns Spectronex and Flux Instruments, with combined revenues of about $22 million in FY06. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Spectronex is a leading supplier of mass spectrometry, chromatography and surface science instrumentation in Switzerland, Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Thermo Fisher Scientific said that as it expands its field sales presence in Europe, the acquisition will bring additional direct sales, demonstration capabilities and visibility to customers in those regions.

Flux Instruments is a maker of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) pumps and software. Thermo Fisher said Flux brings new technology and design expertise to its current HPLC and LCMS business, which includes the new Thermo Scientific Accela UHPLC as well as advanced sample extraction and liquid chromatography products gained through the recent acquisition of Cohesive Technologies (Franklin, Massachusetts) late last year.

The company said Flux enhances its product portfolio with complementary technologies and intellectual property for future product development.

“Flux Instruments is a strong complement to our expanding chromatography and life sciences mass spectrometry product lines,” said Marijn Dekkers, president/CEO of Thermo Fisher Scientific. “Spectronex enables [us] to strengthen our footprint in Europe with direct sales channels and support, enhancing our ability to work closely with important customers in this area.”

Thermo Fisher Scientific develops laboratory equipment, software, services, consumables and reagents to enable laboratory workflow solutions.

bioMerieux, NorChip in HPV diag pact

bioMerieux (Marcy L’etoile, France) has entered into a worldwide exclusive license agreement for rights developed by NorChip (Klokkarstrua, Norway) to an m-RNA based Human Papillomavirus (HPV) diagnostic, for early detection of cervical carcinogenesis. The test will use the NucliSENS EasyQ platform and be available during 2Q07.

Dr. Geir Morland, CEO of NorChip, said, “An agreement with one of the world leaders in the field of in vitro diagnostics enables accurate and cost-effective prevention of cervical cancer worldwide,” he added.

“The m-RNA based HPV assay developed by NorChip is an important addition to our diagnostic portfolio, as it increases significantly our commercial molecular diagnostic offering,” stated Stephane Bancel, CEO of bioMerieux.

The test will use the m-RNA based HPV detection technology developed and patented by NorChip and the NASBA Real-Time technology from bioMerieux. NorChip will license the patents and related technology to bioMerieux, which will manufacture and distribute kits for use with its proprietary NucliSENS EasyQ system. The licensed technology utilizes the fact that cells integrated with DNA from oncogenic HPV virus strains express oncogenic proteins based on continuous expression of abnormal m-RNA.

The assay will be distributed exclusively by bioMerieux with its NucliSENS EasyQ system worldwide, except for the Nordic countries, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. bioMerieux will pay NorChip upfront fees, milestone payments, as well as royalties on sales.

NorChip develops clinical diagnostics. bioMerieux develops in vitro diagnostics for clinical and industrial applications.

Bayer Schering in Japanese imaging agent pact

Bayer Schering Pharma (Berlin) has signed a license and option agreement with Taisho Pharmaceutical, Nihon Nohyaku and the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS) in Japan to develop novel imaging compounds for the detection of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other disorders associated with neuroinflammation, such as multiple sclerosis.

“We are convinced that innovations in molecular imaging have the potential to fundamentally improve the diagnosis of neurodegenerative disorders, particularly Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Hans Maier, head of the Diagnostic Imaging business unit at Bayer Schering Pharma. “[We are] already pursuing the development of tracers targeting amyloid plaques, a hallmark of this disease. Imaging of neuroinflammation as another important pathology will complement these activities.”

He said the Japanese agreement “underscores our commitment to Alzheimer’s patients by developing [new] diagnostic methods for the early detection of the disease.”

Taisho Pharmaceutical, Nihon Nohyaku and the NIRS, a government-owned research institution, jointly own patent rights for a compound class that may be applied for various non-invasive imaging technologies, such as positron emission tomography (PET) scanning.

Under the terms of the agreement Bayer Schering Pharma receives worldwide exclusive rights to develop and market the respective products for use with PET scanning technology.

Bayer Schering said epidemiological surveys estimate that 24.3 million people suffer from dementia today worldwide, with about 4.6 million new cases occuring every year. Such studies indicate the number affected will double every 20 years to an estimated 81.1 million by 2040. Of these cases, 50% to 75 % are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

In other Bayer Schering Pharma news, Bayer Schering Pharma Aktiengesellschaft — formerly Schering Aktiengesellschaft — has filed a solicitation/recommendation statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission with respect to the offer of cash compensation by Bayer Schering GmbH — formerly Dritte BV GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bayer Aktiengesellschaft — in connection with the domination and profit and loss transfer agreement between Bayer Schering GmbH and Bayer Schering Pharma Aktiengesellschaft.

Holders of ordinary shares and American depositary shares of Bayer Schering Pharma Aktiengesellschaft may obtain the solicitation/recommendation statement and other filed documents free of charge at the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website,, and at Bayer Schering Pharma Aktiengesellschaft’s website,