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Biobase Seeks to Expand in 2001 with Stronger European Presence, New Products


Germany’s Biobase is adding new customers and plans to expand its product line this year. The company has signed two new subscribers to the most recent version of its Transfac database, and CEO Holger Karas said Biobase is “just about ready to launch” three new products.

Aventis Pharma and Akzo Nobel subsidiary Organon are the two newest members of the Transfac subscriber list. These licenses give all European affiliates of the two companies access to the gene regulation database, which contains the largest collection of transcription factors currently available, according to the company.

Transfac v4.4, launched in December, contains almost 24,000 entries, including around 4,000 profiles of transcription factors and 10,000 descriptions of their specific DNA binding sites. The database includes a library of over 370 predefined matrices for transcription factor binding sites. A new search module, Match, has been added to the database to search the matrix library for transcription factor binding sites to locate sequence matches.

The deals with Aventis and Organon are a key step in the company’s plans to gain a stronger presence in the European market. While Biobase’s distributor, Cognia, has secured a number of customers in the United States and Japan, Biobase spokeswoman Sandra Urbach said the company is just beginning to concentrate on expanding its European customer base.

Urbach said the company has further deals in the pipeline with European companies that will be announced in the near future.

Also on the horizon are three new database product offerings: PathoDB, a database of mutated transcription factor binding sites; S/Mart DB, a database of scaffold or matrix attached regions; and Transpath, a database that documents signal transduction pathways involved in the regulation of transcription factors.

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