NEW YORK, Oct. 17 – Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis has agreed to pay Geneva Proteomics $84 million to analyze the proteomes of three types of human tissues over the next five years, the companies announced Tuesday.
Novartis, based in Basel, Switzerland will make a $43 million equity investment in Geneva-based Geneva Proteomics, and will pay the proteomics company $41 million in fees over the next four years. Geneva Proteomics may also receive additional milestone payments, license fees, and other reimbursements. The fifth year of the deal includes proteomics analysis work that is yet to be determined.
“From a global perspective, this is the big deal on proteomics,” said Felix Raeber, Novartis’ communications director.
" The collaboration with GeneProt complements our in-house research activities in functional genomics and proteomics and strengthens our position as leading in the post- genomics area,” Paul Herrling, head of Novartis' pharma research, said in a statement.
Geneva proteomics is Novartis’ biggest partner in proteomics research, but the pharma company has not ruled out other proteomics partnersh ips. Twenty-five to 28 percent of Novartis' research budget is directed towards outside research partnerships, so further genomics and proteomics partnerships will be likely, Raeber said.
Under this agreement, Geneva Proteomics will analyze the twin proteomes of three human diseased tissues or body fluids and their healthy counterparts. Novartis will select out proteins or peptides with potential to serve as targets for lead discovery, or proteins that could serve as direct biomarkers for disease state or therapeutic efficacy.
Geneva Proteomics will be expanding its staff in the coming months so it can tackle the new task before it.
Although this partnership keeps Novartis’ business within the borders of Switzerland, Novartis says it chose Geneva Proteomics primarily for its proteomics expertise. “Geneva Proteomics’ researchers are the world’s leading experts in this field,” said Raeber. “But from a Swiss perspective, we are happy that we have the world’s leading experts in Geneva.”