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Nature 410, 856 (19 April 2001) | doi:10.1038/35073781

Swiss proteomics company aims to make big impact

Alison Abbott

Swiss proteomics pioneers hope to make a big splash in the commercial world when their new company, GeneProt, opens its first facility in Geneva on 26 April.

Swiss proteomics company aims to make big impact

GENEPROT

Free thinker: Hochstrasser says he will make much of GeneProt's data freely available.

The company hopes to become one of the main players in proteomics, having raised US$122 million in capital since it was founded a year ago. It is now building a second facility at Princeton, New Jersey.

GeneProt will employ 100 people, and aims to discover proteins that could provide targets for drug development or diagnostics, as well as ones that could be used directly as therapeutics. Its researchers will separate tens of thousands of proteins from diseased and healthy tissues, using gel filtration and chromatography, and identify them using a bank of 51 mass spectrometers.

Analysis will be supported by a Compaq computer, which Denis Hochstrasser, one of GeneProt's founders, says will deliver more power than is available to any other proteomics company.

Hochstrasser and the other founders of GeneProt have been making Geneva a centre of proteomics research since the 1980s. He is a vocal proponent of free public access to genomic and protein information, and says that GeneProt will make information publicly available about the "many proteins, such as housekeeping proteins, which have no commercial value".