NEW YORK, Oct. 18 - Genomic Solutions has won a US patent for a device and techniques designed to automate protein digestion in preparation for mass spectrometry, the company said on Thursday.
The patent, numbered 6,302,159 and entitled "Apparatus and method of carrying out flow through chemistry of multiple mixtures," covers technology that is used in Genomic Solutions’ Investigator ProPREP and ProGEST instruments, according to the firm. It is believed that the newly patented tools and techniques will help scientists process solid-liquid mixtures in high-throughput proteomic research.
"The implementation of this unique approach affirms our dedication of the company's research and development resources to proteomics,” Jeffrey S. Williams, president and CEO of Genomic Solutions, said in a statement.
The patent award comes at a time when Genomics Solutions, battered by sharply falling sales, slashed 25 percent of its workforce and was forced to sell its proteomics contract services business to a newly formed company, Proteomic Research Services.
Those developments, announced in early September, resulted in the closing of an R&D and manufacturing facility in Lansing, Mich., Genomics Solutions said in a statement at the time. Jobs associated with that space will be transplanted to the company’s headquarters in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Positions in Michigan and in Genomic Solutions’ UK facilities will be eliminated by the end of the fourth quarter this year, the company added.
Two weeks later, on Sept. 28, Genomic Solutions said that its third-quarter revenue might be half of what it originally expected , blaming shrinking orders and economic uncertainty that fell on the broader economy following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11.
“We are taking steps now to accelerate achievement of Genomic Solutions' financial performance goals,” Williams said in a statement released to coincide with the company's layoffs and restructuring. “It is more than simply cutting costs—it is a fundamental restructuring of all of our available resources to further build our position as one of the leading suppliers of DNA microarray and proteomic systems in the life sciences marketplace.”