And a Bag of Chips
An industry study predicts that sales of protein chips will exceed $700 million in 2006, a 10-fold increase from the $76 million in sales the industry recorded one year ago. “With at least 25 companies either selling protein biochips today or preparing to enter the market within the next two years, sales … are poised for enormous growth,” according to BioInsights, which conducted the study.
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On the Verge?
Paracel’s future as a Celera Genomics subsidiary is unclear. As Celera slips into new drug discovery duds, it has to decide what to do with the upstream technologies and businesses that made it a genomics powerhouse. It sold AgGen and is weighing its options for its online business.
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Hail to the Cash
If there’s one thing that publicly traded genomics companies may count on After Enron it is that cash is the new king. And considering that nearly all genomic tool and tech shops burn more cash than they earn, the new standard presents novel challenges.
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“There are going to be three or four major platforms for diagnostics,” said Jorge Leon, vice president of applied genomics at Quest Diagnostics. “One of them is going to be [DNA] arrays,” he said. The others will include immunoassays, traditional ELISAs and antibody arrays, as well as fluorescent in situ hybridization and protein mass spectrometry.
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Wheelin’ and Dealin’
Cray and Compaq have recently established a foothold in Singapore’s emerging bioinformatics efforts via deals with the country’s leading academic institutions — a supercomputer at the National University of Singapore and bioinformatics software at Nanyang Technological University.
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Scientists in the field speak with anticipation of the days when high-end instruments such as the MALDI-TOF/TOF will prove themselves cost-effective. But beneath that swell of expectation lies an undercurrent: for proteomics experiments involving the analysis of complex mixtures of peptides, has the cost of Q-TOF technology dipped to the point where ion traps are no longer necessary?
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