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Applied Biosystems Sells Mass Spectrometers, Reagents to Geneva Proteomics

NEW YORK, Nov 22 - Applied Biosystems has sold its next-generation MALDI TOF/TOF mass spectrometers and its new ICAT reagents to Geneva Proteomics through an early access agreement, Applied Biosystems announced Wednesday.

Under the agreements, Applied Biosystems will deliver multiple mass spectrometers, along with ICAT reagents, to Geneva Proteomics in the first half of next year. Geneva Proteomics will work with Applied Biosystems to get the new systems running smoothly, and will deliver feedback as to potential improvements.   Additional terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

" The agreements with GeneProt highlight the value of technologies being developed at our Framingham (Mass.) facility," said Applied Biosystems president Michael Hunkapiller in a statement. " We are continuing to expand our proteomics portfolio, with the aim of creating integrated proteomics systems to take protein research to a new level of throughput and value-added informational content."

Geneva Proteomics intends to use the mass spectrometers in its new Geneva-based proteomics facility, which it is now setting up, Geneva Proteomics CEO Cedric Loiret-Bernal told GenomeWeb earlier. The company plans to have 51 mass spectrometers and a Compaq supercomputer platform installed by March 2001, so its researchers can begin working on an $84 million proteome analysis project commissioned by Novartis in October.

The new MALDI TOF/TOF is designed for high-throughput identification, sequencing, and characterization of protein samples using a proprietary Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization (MALDI) with Time of Flight/Time of Flight (TOF/TOF) technology.

Applied Biosystems' other early access customers for the MALDI TOF/TOF include Celera, which received its first machine in September, and Oxford Glycosciences, which is also slated to receive its first mass spectrometer in the first quarter of next year.

But Geneva Proteomics is the first publicly announced customer for the ICAT reagents, which enable researchers to separate and tag proteins found in tissues they wish to compare.   Applied Biosystems just announced November 17 it had gained the license to commercialize these reagents from the University of Washington. Ruedi Aebersold, now of the Institute for Systems Biology, invented these reagents while he was a professor at the University of Washington.

In proteomic research, ICAT reagents work in tandem with mass spectrometers. Once the proteins are marked by the reagents they can then be analyzed by a mass spectrometer, giving researchers the opportunity to better understand how diseases behave at the molecular level.




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