GAITHERSBURG, Md.—GeneLogic Inc. announced last month that it had chosen GE Healthcare for the global distribution of its new Sciantis System, an online gene expression analysis system targeted for use by academic, government and other non-profit research organizations. The release of Sciantis marks the company's first attempt to provide products to this particular market segment.
Under the terms of the distribution agreement, whose terms were not released, GE Healthcare will distribute the online system in 32 countries and will also have exclusive distribution rights in Japan.
"Since this is a new market sector for us, we looked long and hard to find the right distribution partner to help us enter this space," says Dennis Rossi, senior vice president and general manager, genomics, for GeneLogic. "GE Healthcare has a strong brand presence, marketing muscle and has a presence in a number of different channels that we felt would give both companies the chance to be successful with this product."
The Sciantis system is based on Gene Logic's gene expression reference database. The online service provides researchers with gene expression profiles from more than 6,000 human, rat and tissue samples, which are further curated into more than 800 sample sets. Each sample set contains summary expression data for more than 30,000 genes and the data is segmented into five major disease areas including, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, oncology, CNS disorders and metabolic disease.
While Sciantis leverages the company's existing knowledge base and expertise the company has provided to the commercial sector via its Ascenta and other brands, Rossi says the Sciantis brand name was developed specifically to address this new market segment. "We are developing the Sciantis brand specifically for the university and non-profit sector," he notes. "We want to be able to segment our brands and offerings so there is no ambiguity."
Development of the product took roughly one year, including a number of beta test sites at both academic and government research organizations. "We wanted to make sure the product was meeting their needs," says Rossi. "So we asked a very simple question: Would they buy it? And the answer was always 'yes'."
The Sciantis System is co-branded with GE Healthcare and sold as a single-seat subscription service. Pricing, Rossi notes, is left up to GE and it's worldwide distribution network. Ger Brophy, head of product acquisition and licensing for GE says of the deal: "The Sciantis System is a valuable addition to the technologies and services GE Healthcare offers to our life sciences customers. We are excited to work with Gene Logic, a leader in genomics services, to distribute the SCIANTIS System, an innovative and effective way for researchers to more efficiently analyze genetic expression data."
Rossi estimates the potential market for the product is in the "tens of thousands".