Fresh from posting annual revenues of $920.6m, 10.3 per cent up on the previous years revenues of $834.7m, Varian has strengthened its Analytical Instruments division with the $11m acquisition of privately-held Analogix. The acquisition of the chromatography company builds on the Varian's plan to try to build its laboratory consumables portfolio by both organic and acquisitive means. While no details were given as to the amount of debt assumed during the $11m purchase, the transaction does include the opportunity for additional milestone payments that could total up to $4m. Analogix manufactures modular flash chromatography products that reduce the time spent by researchers on purifying organic compounds such as small molecule drug candidates and peptides. With many medicinal chemists spending over 30 per cent of their time on compound purification the need to streamline the process is clear if pharmaceutical companies want researchers to be more efficient. Analogix' product portfolio includes pre-packed consumable flash chromatography columns, such as the SuperFlash columns, that save researchers time by minimising the laborious column preparation time while ensuring sharp compound separations. The company also provides a range automated chromatography system that includes its flagship IntelliFlash 310 system that ensures that solvent levels and pressure are maintained, while enabling walk-away solvent gradient changes. The instrument can also identify up to eight different compounds by their UV response and ensure they are collected as different fractions. "The acquisition of Analogix is strategic to the advancement of Varian's goal to grow applications based consumables products and to further broaden its product offering to the pharmaceutical industry," said Garry Rogerson, CEO, Varian "Analogix has demonstrated an ability to successfully meet customer needs in the area of drug discovery and to grow its business rapidly in North America. Analogix products will now be distributed more effectively on a global basis via Varian's worldwide distribution network." The Analogix acquisition will add to the revenues generated by its Scientific Instrument business that recorded an 11 per cent increase during the year to hit $761.5m, up from $686.0m during the prior year. The company's smaller Vacuum Technologies business achieved 7 per cent revenue growth during 2007 with sales of $159.1m, compared to $148.7m during the previous year. Research and development (R&D) expenditure remained comparable between the two years, with the company's 2007 R&D budget accounting for 7.1 per cent of revenues ($65.2m) compared with 7.2 per cent of revenues the year before. Costs of sales fell slightly and combined with increased income from interest the company's pretax profits for the year rose nearly 30 per cent to $96.8m compared with $74.6m the year before.