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Proteomics Genomic Solutions Spinoff Stays Close to Home

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For a spinout, Proteomic Research Services was set up on the fly — at least from director Mike Pisano’s point of view. “We set up this company in a short three weeks,” he says. “We scrambled to hire professionals to help us to get the business running.”

The company broke off from Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Genomic Solutions, where it was formerly the proteomics division. In fact, the company hasn’t moved an inch since its spinout and remains in a building just several yards down the road from its parent company. And except for three people who chose to remain with Genomic Solutions, all the people in the proteomics facility have stayed around for the new venture. “We purchased all of the instrumentation and equipment and lab benches and everything else from Genomic Solutions,” Pisano says. But in a bureaucratic twist, minority shareholder Genomic Solutions financed PRS to do this.

Pisano, who co-founded the company with fellow Genomic Solutions employees Beth Allen and Rick Edmondson, says PRS is basically a contract research organization for proteomic research. Already, the company has contracts with pharma, biotech, and academic groups and works on outsourced projects and R&D for consumables and instrumentation. “There’s lots of work to be done,” Pisano says. “Every company wants to be playing in this arena.”

Which begs the question: why did Genomic Solutions, which just went through a round of layoffs, slough off a source of revenue? “It wasn’t the majority of our revenue,” says Kathleen Murphy, vice president of corporate communications at Genomic Solutions. The move will allow the parent company to “really focus our core effort on instrumentation,” she says.

— Meredith Salisbury

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