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GeneProt, Zymark Pen Automation Partnership

NEW YORK, March 4 - GeneProt has agreed to purchase four Zymark proteomics systems in an exclusive automation technology deal, the two companies said on Monday.


Under the terms of the arrangement, GeneProt will install two of Zymark's Staccato proteomics systems in its new North Brunswick, NJ facility, and two additional systems in its Geneva discovery and production center. The deal makes Zymark the sole provider of automation technology for GeneProt in the US and Europe.


Zymark will also get a nonexclusive license and right of first negotiation to GeneProt research discoveries in order to develop new consumable application kits. That use must not infringe upon GeneProt's own commercialization efforts or those of its partners in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics.


Zymark, based in Hopkinton, Mass., is also making an equity investment in GeneProt. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.


The two companies said they also will jointly develop automation instruments: Zymark's proteomics system will be used to automate in-gel protein digestion, liquid handling steps, and protein and peptide-sample preparation for mass-spec analysis.


In December, GeneProt said that it was buying about $20 million worth of Micromass Q-Tof mass spec machines and services from Waters for its New Jersey facility.


That 100,000-square-foot center, projected to employ about 150 people, is now under construction. GeneProt expects it to open for business in the second quarter of 2002.

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