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SBI Builds Up European Marketing, Sales Presence

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SAN DIEGO, Calif.--Structural Bioinformatics said it has begun building up a European sales and marketing organization in its Copenhagen office in response to interest in its bioinformatics tools from the worldwide pharmaceutical industry. Ole Wiborg, former sales and licensing director for Nycomed Pharma, has been hired to run the European subsidiary, known as SBI Advanced Technologies. The subsidiary was originally established as a research unit to translate new theories about protein structure and folding developed by a group of Danish scientists into practically available tools enabling improved structure prediction. With the step to build a strong sales and marketing organization, the operation is now underway to establish itself as an integrated center for Structural Bioinformatics' European computational and commercial activities.

Structural Bioinformatics delivers advanced algorithms that are used to calculate the dynamic 3-D structure of proteins from DNA sequence information. In turn, the 3-D information is used to design and select molecules from various chemical subclasses that will act as antagonists to the protein, thereby preventing progress of disease.

The company's most recent deals include collaborations with three international pharmaceutical companies, including Yamanouchi Pharmaceuticals and BioChem Pharma, aimed at developing various new compounds for the Asian, European, and North American markets.

In addition to research collaborations, the company said it is due to launch its database of protein structures to pharmaceutical and other life science companies during the second quarter of 1999. Depending on their needs, companies will be able to access a subset or the entire set of protein structures contained in the database. The initial release of the database will include thousands of structures, and is intended eventually to be comprehensive for the human genome.

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