Shimadzu Biotech expects to open a new center for protein analysis in the Tokyo suburb of Tsukuba by October this year, the company’s chairman, Tetsuo Ichikawa, told ProteoMonitor last week. Shimadzu Corporation, the 125-year-old Japanese vendor of scientific instruments, spun out Shimadzu Biotech two years ago in an effort to focus on the life sciences instrumentation market. Since then, Shimadzu Biotech has been working with its own subsidiary Kratos Analytical and with Proteome Systems of Sydney, Australia, on the development of an integrated proteomics analysis platform.
Now Ichikawa said he expects his company’s new data-generation and analysis business, which will apply the platform to analyzing proteins, to grow more rapidly than its instrument sales. Eventually, the data business, which will operate as a separate profit-and-loss center from the instrument business, will account for between 30 and 35 percent of Shimadzu Biotech’s revenues, Ichikawa predicted.
While the company already conducts some in-house analysis into DNA, SNPs, and proteins in order to test its own products, Ichikawa said the new center would enable Shimadzu to enter into research collaborations with pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology customers.
“The cost of instruments is very high and [pharmaceutical companies] need people with knowledge to run them. It is not so easy to keep such skilled people on staff,” Ichikawa said. Shimadzu Biotech plans to house its own stable of technicians capable of running proteomics and genomics research instruments. “My object is to train them to the most highly skilled and knowledgeable in the field,” he said. Already, he said, the company has hired 10 PhDs for the research group.