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Rise of Phenyx
GENEVA—Seeking to give its customers a more robust and integrated mass spectrometry (MS) identification solution, bioinformatics provider Nonlinear Dynamics and Swiss proteomic software tool and database developer Geneva Bioinformatics SA (GeneBio) announced in June they entered a worldwide distribution agreement that marries Nonlinear's Progenesis software with GeneBio's Phenyx platform.
According to the agreement, Nonlinear will distribute GeneBio's Phenyx MS identification platform both as a stand-alone software package and alongside Nonlinear's Progenesis LC-MS software, a research solution for quantitative analysis of label-free LC-MS data. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
GeneBio CEO Nasri Nahas says the partnership is the first time Nonlinear and GeneBio have worked together, although they have been friendly competitors in the progenics marketplace for years.
"Nonlinear's reputation in the field and their distribution network are both top-notch, so having our Phenyx platform associated with their offerings and being spoken of on its own merits by such a well-respected player is great for business," Nahas says.
Mark Bennett, general manager of Nonlinear's U.S. operations, says the integration made possible by the partnership is unique in that it is one of the first opportunities in the bioinformatics space to ally technologies in different parts of the MS workflow.
If successful, there is potential for a future collaboration in which the companies work to get a closer integration of their two software packages, Bennett says.
"Together, we fit into a niche part of the workflow, and being able to provide a link into a search engine for our customers gives them a global view of what is going on," he says. "We are able to show the significance of data, and they are able to provide the data. We're always trying to make our customer experience easier, and having this kind of integrated data makes anybody's life easier."
Both companies say the partnership has scientific and commercial benefits. The Phenyx software platform, which can be integrated with a laboratory's workflow, enables users to submit identification jobs, evaluate and manually validate results, and export results tables into various formats. Progenesis LC-MS applies simple workflows to complex data sets so that the researcher can quickly generate reliable conclusions from their research.
Nahri says he does not view the collaboration as unique, "but rather as an intelligent use of resources."
"Smart companies know when to create from scratch and when to use existing technology to further their goals, even if this means sometimes going beyond the classical definition of competition," Nahri says. "In this case, what Nonlinear needed was exactly what we had, and vice versa, so there was no sense in any of us reinventing the wheel." DDN