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PerkinElmer to Grow Europe Sales Force, Focus on Microarrays, Proteomics

NEW YORK, Nov 10 – Following its August acquisition of NEN life sciences, PerkinElmer is expanding its European life sciences sales force 15 percent while “consolidating” its European operations, the company said Friday.

“We think the European marketplace is growing very much as a result of the explosion in functional genomics, particularly in Germany, France, the UK and part of the Nordic region,” said Patrik Dahlen, PerkinElmer's Life Sciences president. “We think it is important to have a pan-European approach to the marketplace.”

Currently NEN has sales offices in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.   Perkin Elmer is committed to maintaining a presence in theses countries, Dahlen said, but will seek to consolidate its business. Dahlen would neither confirm nor deny whether this would mean closing any sales or marketing offices.

“Let’s just say we’re consolidating,” he said.

Last week, PerkinElmer held an internal meeting at NEN’s European headquarters in Brussels to discuss the strategy for approaching the European market for its products.

Both in Europe and in the US PerkinElmer will seek to combine its strength in traditional drug discovery tools with NEN’s strength in the oligonucleotide and low-density microarray market and the proteomics and software power provided by its strategic partner, Genomic Solutions.

PerkinElmer and Genomic Solutions have had a comprehensive sales, distribution, and technology alliance since December 1999, when PerkinElmer made an equity investment in Genomic Solutions and obtained the option to acquire control of the company.

“NEN’s ability to generate labeling reagents is a key enabling technology for functional genomics going forward,” said Dahlen. “The other thing is their Micromax product line, which provides DNA microarrays for expression analysis. We can help build that expression analysis [capability] given our relationship with Genomic Solutions.”

PerkinElmer hopes to provide hardware that will produce and read low-density microarrays, as there is a growing market for low-density microarray technology that is disease or organ-specific, Dahlen said.

Through its alliance with Genomic Solutions, the company also wants to gain a foothold in the proteomics arena.

“We want to work with Genomic Solutions on the hardware side to provide customers a full range of products and help them automate the proeomics work they do,” Dahlen said. “We are also looking into ways to utilizing the laboratory capabilities we have to make reagents available for proteomics work.”

Additionally, Dahlen said PerkinElmer would look to gain a greater foothold in the field. “We are going to continue to look at opportunities to make acquisitions” in proteomics. “We want to take advantage of the explosion in this field.”