Schott, a Jena, Germany-based provider of array surfaces, kits, and reagents, has tapped Applied Microarrays to serve as its distributor in North America.
The company already maintains a sales and support team for its Nexterion line of microarray products that is based out of its North American headquarters in Elmsford, NY. A Schott representative told BioArray News this week that the German firm will continue to serve US and Canadian customers directly via its established channels, and said that the deal with Tempe, Ariz.-based AMI is part of a plan to reach more microarray customers than before.
Schott is "committed to a strong presence" in the North American market, said Marcel Fischer, manager of its Nexterion products. He added that AMI will "broaden its outreach to the market" and "enhance its position" as a supplier of array substrates.
While Fischer claimed that Schott is a "leading provider" of such products, it does face competition in the North American market from long-established players that supply array slides, such as Corning and Maine Manufacturing. Though the self-spotted array market is a mature one, all of these firms have said they continue to see demand from protein array users.
"The market for microarrays has untapped potential," noted Fischer, "especially in the field of protein microarrays, which are becoming more and more accepted also for diagnostic applications."
It's a trend that has also benefitted AMI. The company was founded when it acquired GE Healthcare's Codelink bioarray assets in 2007, but CEO Alastair Malcolm has told BioArray News that the majority of its sales come from its original equipment manufacturing deals, with particular demand coming from diagnostic companies and protein array researchers (BAN 11/2/2010).
Now, AMI has assembled a team dedicated to handle inquiries, orders, technical questions, and to support the needs of Schott's biotech and life sciences customers in the US and Canada. AMI product manager Andrea Bly in a statement praised Schott's "high quality" products and "strong technical support," and said the firms will work together to "expand application support" for Schott's products to "better address diagnostic and life sciences customers' needs."
Stacey Clarken, vice president of commercial operations at AMI, told BioArray News this week that the company's staff has completed technical training at Schott's headquarters in Germany in preparing for its new role.
"AMI is gaining a manufacturer's level of expertise on the Schott Nexterion product line and that knowledge will not only help us in representing Nexterion products, but will also enable improved technical support for our contract arraying business," Clarken said.