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BDX Biosciences Collaborates with NanoString

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BD Biosciences, a segment of medical technology major Becton, Dickinson and Company (BDX), entered a collaboration agreement with Wash.-based life science research tools provider NanoString Technologies, Inc. (NSTG) to develop a single cell isolation and analysis workflow.

Under the agreement, both the companies will take the help of NanoString’s nCounter Analysis System (including the nCounter Single Cell Assay) and BDX’s BD Flow Cytometry cell sorter product line (emphasizing the new BD FACSJazz Cell Sorting System) to develop the combined workflow.

NanoString Technologies' nCounter Analysis System is a multi-application digital detection and counting system with a highly automated and simple workflow. Its Single Cell Gene Expression application helps researchers adopt a highly flexible and sensitive approach to identify variations in cell-to-cell gene expression profiles. The application helps detection up to 800 genes in a single tube.

On the other hand, the BD FACSJazz Cell Sorting System is capable of identifying, characterizing and isolating single or multiple cells from complex or rare cell populations and depositing them in 96 and 384 well plates to provide rapid cell isolation, tracking and identification.

The combined workflow will provide single cell gene expression analysis for oncology, immunology and stem cell research. The collaboration agreement also includes the development of materials documenting the workflow protocol, as well as undertaking meetings and webinars to educate scientists about the single cell workflow.

Recently, BD Diagnostics, another segment of Becton, Dickinson and Company, has launched the BD ProbeTec Trichomonas vaginalis Qx Amplified DNA Assay used for the detection of T. vaginalis DNA in endocervical and vaginal samples as well as neat urine specimens to aid in the diagnosis of trichomoniasis on the BD Viper System with XTR Technology.

The DNA assay has been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (:FDA). It is designed for use with the BD Viper System. It reduces human intervention and associated variables as well as improves speed to results compared to wet mount microscopy and culture.

Becton, Dickinson and Company reported a marginal 1.3% rise in third quarter fiscal 2013 adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations to $1.54, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.47. Revenues went up 3.6% (up 5.1% in constant currency or CER) to $2,052.7 million, which were marginally ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,050 million.

Becton, Dickinson and Company expects lower sales growth for fiscal 2013 in the range of 3.5% to 4% (5.0% at CER) compared with the earlier projection of 4.5% to 5.0%. BDX continues to expect reported earnings per share from continuing operations for fiscal 2013 in the band of $5.72−$5.75. The projection implies a year-over-year rise of 6.5%−7.0% (8.5%−9.0% at CER) for fiscal 2013 or 11.0%−11.5% after accounting for the medical device tax implemented in Jan 2013.

Currently, BDX carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other medical stocks that are worth considering include STRAUMANN HLD N AKT (SAUHF) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and Alphatec Holdings, Inc. (ATEC) with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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