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Sigma Inks Deal with Axiogenesis

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Sigma Life Science, the biological products and services arm of Sigma-Aldrich Corporation , announced a deal with Axiogenesis to launch mouse induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-derived cardiomyocytes and smooth muscle cells. These cardiomyocytes and smooth muscle cells aid in long-term studies to accurately measure cardiotoxicity in drug trials.

Axiogenesis' iPS cell-derived cardiomyocytes help in diagnosing toxic elements that are not possible through other experiments. These cardiomyocytes also maintain physiologically-relevant biology, purity and spontaneous beating for longer than 28 days. On the other hand, Sigma Life Science's existing stem cell product portfolio provides ample support for iPS cell-related research.

Axiogenesis AG is a biotechnology company that develops novel assays that use differentiated embryonic stem cell that display normal physiological behavior. Axiogenesis is expanding its portfolio through the iPS technology by introducing murine IPS based products and services.

Sigma-Aldrich, a life-science and specialty chemical company, releases its second quarter 2012 earnings last month. The company posted adjusted earnings of 97 cents per share in the quarter, meeting the Zacks Consensus Estimate while exceeding the year-ago earnings of 93 cents. Profit, as reported, marginally increased to $115 million or 94 cents per share in the quarter from $113 million or 91 cents a year ago.

Revenues came in at $664 million in the quarter, up 4% year over year, but below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $673 million. Acquisitions contributed 6% to the growth while foreign exchange translation had an unfavorable impact of 5%. The company saw growth across its Research Chemicals and Fine Chemicals (“SAFC”) divisions.

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

The company, which competes with Bayer AG (BAYRY - Free Report) and other privately held companies, such as Brenntag AG and VWR Funding Inc., maintains a Zacks #4 Rank, which translates into a short-term (1 to 3 months) Sell rating.

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