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Bioinformatics: Burke s New Post, Biotique, Gets Sole Algorithm License

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Biotique Systems, which spent its first year of existence in relative quiet, popped out of the woodwork late this summer when it snagged an exclusive license from the University of Houston to clustering and alignment software previously offered by DoubleTwist.

John Burke, a co-developer of d2 and CRAW, is now president and CSO of Emeryville, Calif.-based Biotique, alongside chairman and CEO Stephen Sanders. Sanders, 38, and Burke, 34, have a combined 17 years in the biotech industry, both most recently at the now defunct Double- Twist. Sanders was VP of worldwide sales, and Burke was VP of informatics.

“The good things that we’ve pulled over from our management experiences in the past are that you want to run an ethically based company with people that are motivated like us, with a similar vision, and the vision is that we have a chance every week to impact humanity,” says Sanders.

Biotique Systems employs 10 people but sees itself expanding concurrently with revenue to sustain growth. Sanders and Burke say they are developing focused modules including expression analysis and pharmaco-genomics to plug into their product, the Biotique Local Integration System, for use in drug discovery and development.

BLIS integrates, analyzes, and visualizes multiple sources of data from public, third-party, and in-house genomic data in a “sustainable manner,” says Burke. Bristol-Myers Squibb, Berlex Biosciences, and an unspecified biochip manufacturer currently use the Biotique system.

According to Burke, the mantra around the company is that customers always come first. “I think it is very important to stay focused on the customers’ needs and to gather their input whenever you develop a product,” he says. “And also to make sure that whatever you develop will be useful for them in their processes.”

Sanders says the need they saw in the bioinformatics field was for a dynamic program integrating multi-source data, so their system is an attempt to fill the void. “We just want to be one step ahead of [our customers’] needs tomorrow … but not [so] far ahead that it takes too much vision [for them] to adopt,” he says.

— Dana Frisch

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