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An unfolding development
January 2012
by Lloyd Dunlap  |  Email the author


CAMBRIDGE, U.K.Expedeon Ltd. and Protein Discovery Inc. will merge to provide both the "razor and blades" of advanced products for protein research. The new company, bearing the Expedeon name, intends to be a global supplier of protein analysis and purification products used by thousands of scientists worldwide.  
Prior to the merger, Protein Discovery was a privately held life sciences company that develops and commercializes specialized sample preparation products for protein analysis by mass spectrometry. Its customer base includes academic, government and pharmaceutical scientists involved in protein research and biotherapeutic development. Founded in 2001, Protein Discovery has developed a suite of products that address key challenges in protein analysis. The company's flagship product, the GELFREE 8100 Fractionation System, is said to be the first instrument that partitions complex protein mixtures into user-selectable, liquid-phase molecular weight fractions. The apparatus can purify up to eight samples simultaneously. Unlike other electrophoresis-based systems, the unit produces a soluble fraction for analysis by mass spectrometry. The technology allows researchers to look at the whole protein, not fragments, to pick up small changes and differences. The system has achieved rapid market adoption and was recently highlighted in a publication in Nature.  
Protein Discovery's proprietary consumables, including FASP Protein Digestion kits and PPS Silent Surfactant, allow scientists to enhance their data quality and improve their protein analysis workflows, according to the media release announcing the merger. Expedeon, also privately held, provides tools and reagents for protein discovery and analysis, enabling advances in protein research and drug development.  
Dr. Heikki Lanckriet, founder and CEO of Expedeon, will also be CEO of the new Expedeon. Prior to the merger, Expedeon was already gaining market share rapidly, he states, with double-digit annual grow as a provider of simple, rapid and effective solutions for protein-based research and production. The company's patented products include solutions for protein separation, quantitation, visualization, purification, protection and refolding. The products include RunBlue electrophoresis precast gels, InstantBlue protein stain and Nvoy protein stabilization products, which are used to enhance protein stability and solubility. Applications include soluble expression of aggregation prone protein such as membrane proteins, protein refolding, protein concentration and purification, crystallisation, NMR and mass spectrometry.  
Expedeon sells both directly to and through an extensive partner network around the world. With the addition of Protein Discovery, Lanckriet views the new Expedeon as commanding "gateway technology" to energize future growth.  
The group will remain headquartered in Cambridge, and Chuck Witkowski, founder and CEO of Protein Discovery, will join Expedeon's board of directors. Lanckriet notes that U.S. manufacturing operations will likely be consolidated at Expedeon's existing San Diego facility.  
"This transaction represents an important step towards our strategic goal of becoming a premier, global provider of innovative product solutions for protein analysis," says Lanckriet. "Protein Discovery's talented team has built a business with highly innovative products that are considered best-in-class in their respective product segments. Combined with Expedeon's industry-leading products and extensive market channels, Expedeon will offer even greater value to scientists engaged in protein analysis."   Witkowski adds, "By combining our businesses, we have an opportunity to create substantial value for our customers, shareholders and other key stakeholders as we extend our innovative solutions to customers around the world."  
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.  

Code: E011212



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