Multi-mode partnership

BioTek and fledgling assay company Gyrasol sign co-marketing agreement

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WINOOSKI, Vt.—Continuing its efforts to increase its penetration in the microplate reader market in biotech and pharma companies engaged in high-throughput screening, BioTek Instruments announced early this month it signed an agreement to jointly promote the application of Gyrasol Technologies' Gyrasol Sensor fluorescence based assays on BioTek's Synergy 4 multi-mode microplate reader.

The non-exclusive agreement with Gyrasol is the latest in a string of similar agreements BioTek has forged recently with assay and reagent providers including Invitrogen, Cisbio and Bellbrook Labs. The recent agreement, however, is different, in that it brings BioTek together with a newcomer to the field, one-year-old Gyrasol.

"Our products are very well known in the academic world, but not very well known in the screening world," says Xavier Amouretti, product manger for multi-mode reader lines at BioTek. "We were later in the game to this market and in developing product for this area, and that is where agreements like this one with Gyrasol help us."

At the core of the deal for BioTek is its Synergy 4 multi-mode microplate reader, and its performance is what brought the companies together.

"When we were starting up Gyrasol, we were looking for a microplate reader that would do everything we needed it to do," says Susan Burgess, Gyrasol CEO. "We needed flexibility and Synergy's ability to perform in both kinetic and end-point modes, and its monochromator technology was just what we were looking for."

Synergy 4 fit that bill as it combines both filter-based and quadruple monochromator-based fluorescence detection in a single plate reader. Gyrasol's Sensor detection platform screens kinases and phosphotaases in a homogeneous format.  The platform has a very high tolerance for ATP (up to 1 nM) and substrate (up to 200 µM), allowing for identification of ATP- or substrate-competitive inhibitors.

For Gyrasol, once it had the Synergy 4 and it had developed a number of assays on the platform, it was a natural progression.

"It is a tremendous advantage to us, as a small company to work with BioTek," notes Burgess, "because they have an international marketing operation and we get access to companies that we wouldn't be able to reach in Europe, India and China. There is a lot of interest in India and China and for technologies for drug discovery assays and we see a lot of growth in those areas."

There was no less an attraction for BioTek, Amouretti notes, especially considering what he felt was a cultural fit and strong relationship based on BioTek's help to get Gyrasol up and running and using Synergy 4 to its full capabilities.

"What we find interesting in dealing with smaller companies like Gyraso, if their product turns out to be a good product, we want to be early in the game so we have an edge over other companies," says Amouretti. "We see these partnerships as a strategy to increase our footprint, but you need to partner with the right companies. When we started to work with Gyrasol there was that the feeling that we can develop a strong a relationship that will work well based on the common ground of the way the companies work together."

Much of the specific activities of the co-marketing agreement between the two companies is still to be worked out, though Amouretti says BioTek will soon be sending to all its pharma customers some application notes and data collected by Gyrasol on its assays run on Biotek's Synergy 4 reader. DDN


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