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Sigma Life Science, the innovative biological products and services research wing of Sigma-Aldrich Corporation (SIAL - Analyst Report), has announced the launch of Stemline pluripotent culture medium, a human pluripotent stem cell culture medium which provides a suitable environment for the long-term maintenance and growth of healthy pluripotent stem cells.

Sigma-Aldrich stated that the Stemline pluripotent stem cell culture medium is serum-free, consists of fully-defined components and has 80% less basic fibroblast growth factor compared to the leading pluripotent stem cell culture medium. This provides a favorable environment for long-term maintenance of optimal growth rates, viability and pluripotency.

The stem cell research community usually complains of the high costs of media for pluripotent stem cells. However, Sigma-Aldrich’s Stemline pluripotent culture medium performs as good as the leading medium for maintaining pluripotency and optimal growth rates and is available at comparatively lower costs than the conventional media.

It is also found that cultured pluripotent stem cells show all the established pluripotency markers and maintain proper karyotype and the ability to distinguish into each of the three germ layers. The novel Stemline media strengthens Sigma-Aldrich's position as one of the largest global providers of cell culture media.

Sigma-Aldrich released its second-quarter 2012 results in July. The company posted adjusted earnings of 97 cents per share for the quarter, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate but ahead of the year-ago earnings of 93 cents per share. Profit, as reported, marginally increased year over year to $115 million or 94 cents per share.

Revenues rose 4% year over year to $664 million, aided by acquisitions. The company saw growth across its Research Chemicals and Fine Chemicals (“SAFC”) divisions in the quarter.

Sigma-Aldrich expects organic growth to be low-to-mid single digits in 2012. Macroeconomic uncertainties may hinder its Research Chemicals business whereas growth in Bioscience and Hitech is expected to drive SAFC sales in the remainder of the year. The acquisitions of BioReliance and Research Organics are expected to boost sales by 6%.

Sigma-Aldrich, a close peer of Bayer AG (BAYRY - Analyst Report), currently maintains a Zacks #2 Rank, which translates into a short-term (1 to 3 months) Buy rating. We have a long-term (more than 6 months) Neutral recommendation on the stock.

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