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BioInsights, Abbott Laboratories, Rosetta Biosoftware, NimbleGen, Schleicher & Schuell


Report: Protein Chip Market Poised to Exceed $700M By 2006


The protein chip market is “poised for enormous growth” over the next four years, according to a recent study of the market conducted by research firm BioInsights.

The three-month study, called Protein Biochips: On the Threshold of Success, 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.

“There will be an explosion of companies in the next one to two years, and the market will grow rapidly over the next five years,” said co-author Steve Bodovitz in a talk about the report at last week’s IBC second annual International Conference on Protein Microarrays in San Diego.

However, the market will grow a little bit slower than the DNA chip market, Bodovitz said.

Bodovitz explained how the report divided the market into “capture biochips,” which include antibodies, antibody mimics, aptamers, and affibodies, and “interaction biochips,” which contain purified proteins or peptides and probe for protein function. The report said the capture biochip market will grow at an 83 percent compound annual growth rate, while the interaction biochip market will grow at a 48 percent CAGR; Capture biochips will find applications in clinical diagnostics, while interaction biochips will be used in lead compound screening.

More companies are involved in developing capture biochips than interaction biochips, according to the report’s model. The report included Biacore’s protein assays in the definition of interaction biochips — a factor that accounted for $60 million of the current market for protein chips.

Growth in the interaction biochip arena could be limited by the competition in non-chip based platforms, such as the Luminex 1300 system or other functional proteomics technology, said Bodovitz. The capture biochip market, however, includes a solid customer base that has already been using DNA chips.

With the systems biology approach gaining favor, “demand for one platform drives demand for a second platform, and the use of gene chips is driving the demand for protein chips to complement the initial [gene chip] results,” Bodovitz said.

Companies, academic centers, and government labs highlighted in the report include Archemix, Aspira Biosystems, Biacore, BioForce Nanosciences, BioInvent International, Biosite, Cambridge Antibody Technology, Ciphergen, Clontech, CombiMatrix, GeneScan, Glaucus Proteomics, HTS Biosystems, Harvard Medical Institute of Proteomics, Jerini, Large Scale Biology, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, NextGen Sciences, Packard BioScience, Phylos, Prolinx, Protagen, Protometrix, Randox, SomaLogic, TeleChem International, Van Andel Research Institute, Zeptosens, and Zyomyx.


Abbott Resolved


Abbott Laboratories has licensed Rosetta Biosoftware’s Resolver gene-expression data-analysis system, Rosetta said this week. Neither financial nor duration details of the deal were disclosed.

The Resolver system, a high-end module for gene expression analysis, was developed by Rosetta Biosoftware and is exclusively distributed by Agilent Technologies.


NimbleGen Goes Icelandic


NimbleGen, the Madison, Wis., micromirror microarray startup, has expanded its operations to even cooler climes, with the opening of a manufacturing operation in Iceland announced last week.

The new facility, called NimbleGen Systems of Iceland, or utibu a Islandi, will provide custom DNA arrays and services for customers in North America and Europe.

“The new Iceland facility allows us to penetrate several key markets ... for the biopharmaceutical and academic research markets,” Mike Treble, president and CEO of NimbleGen, said in a statement.

The impetus for going arctic came not from the famed DeCode genetics, but from the little known Iceland Genomics, a 35-employee Reykjavik startup that focuses on population-based genetics in cancer research. Early in the year, NimbleGen inked a collaboration with Iceland Genomics’ wholly owned subsidiary UVS, to provide UBS with access to NimbleGen’s microarray technology for its cancer research.

NimbleGen makes chips through a modified photolithographic process that allows it to put over 195,000 data points on each chip. In this process, the company uses a micromirror that Texas Instruments manufactures for film projectors. The mirror directs and redirects UV light in order to activate reactions that build up nucleotide bases on specific points on the chip.

The company’s facility, which will occupy space subleased from UVS cost about $1 million and will take three months to complete, CEO Mike Treble told BioArray News’ sister publication GenomeWeb during a pause in a business trip to the UK. It will eventually employ between 15 and 20 staff, all of whom will be Icelanders


Schleicher & Schuell Opens Protein Array Service Facility


Slide maker Schleicher & Schuell has just opened a new protein arraying facility at its Keane, N.H., headquarters.

The facility is designed to mass-produce high volumes of protein and antibody chips for researchers under contract or collaboration agreements. Its machines have piezoelectric non-contact arraying capability as well as hollow pin and solid pin technologies. The turnaround time for complex arrays is about two months, the company said.

“We’ve assembled the most advanced technologies available to give researchers the combined advantages of exceptional quality control and extraordinary flexibility,” Michael Fowler, the life science marketing manager of Schleicher & Schuell, said in a statement.

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