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Geneformatics Gotz Intrigued by the Protein Structure Business

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If nothing else, Vince Gotz has the tastes to fit into the genomics and proteomics communities. A Porsche collector and avid motorcyclist who’s always up for a marathon or triathlon, GeneFormatics’ new chief business officer hopes to speed his company along the discovery racetrack.

Formerly at pharmaceutical companies and then Epicyte, a small biotech company in San Diego, Gotz says, “My experience is more on the drug development than on the drug discovery side.” So he’s cramming now to understand GeneFormatics’ structural proteomics technologies. “I really didn’t know anything about this particular field,” he says. “The further I dug into it and understood it, the more intrigued I became.”

The young field is just the business challenge Gotz, 52, was looking for when he took some time off from Epicyte. “There’s no established way of doing business. … This is an open book and you’re writing the chapters.” In charge of business development and marketing, Gotz’s jurisdiction includes the Asia Pacific region, Europe, and North America for the 65-person company.

Though he may not fully understand it yet, the Wisconsin native believes the company’s technology to be promising. “One of the most impressive things that I viewed as an outsider was GeneFormatics’ ability to raise money and close their C round of financing in October of last year,” post- Sept. 11, he says. At a shaky time when most companies were losing financing or closing their doors, GeneFormatics snared $22 million.

Gotz himself has seen some success lately. His most recent acquisition: a Boxster, his third Porsche.

— Meredith Salisbury

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