Matrix Science of London and BioVision of Hannover, Germany said Wednesday that they would jointly develop a bioinformatics tool designed to analyze and process molecular data generated by any brand of mass spectrometer.
"If a lab has different mass spectrometers from different manufacturers there is no software that allows them to get consistent results. Lots of them do the job of peak detection and data processing quite poorly," said David Creasy, director of Matrix Science. "We’ve got a lot of experience with the different types of data from different manufacturers."
Matrix’s first commercially available product, Mascot, offers a search engine that uses mass spectrometry data to identify proteins from primary sequence databases.
BioVision will provide testing and feedback for the new software, which will be developed by Matrix, a small start-up with three employees, said Creasy. BioVision specializes in identifying previously unknown human peptides and determining how they relate to disease. The company’s main research partners include Applied Biosystems and Roche Diagnostics.
Creasy expects the jointly produced tool to be released for commercialization in the middle of 2001. The Imperial Cancer Research Fund serves as a consultant to Matrix.
Creasy noted that several major pharmaceutical companies, such as Glaxo Wellcome, SmithKline Beecham, and Pharmacia, have purchased the company’s Mascot product for use in-house. For researchers willing to work on-line, the software is available free at www.matrixscience.com.