Start-up functional proteomics firm ACE BioSciences A/S, of Odense, Denmark, plans to launch its first product, a database detailing microbial protein interaction networks by next spring, said CEO Ejvind Mxrtz. This will be the first outcome of a recently signed collaboration with bioinformatics company LION bioscience AG, of Heidelberg, Germany.

Under the agreement, ACE has obtained access to LION¿s SRS data integration platform, its sequence analysis software bioSCOUT, its piSCOUT software (which models protein interactions), and its comparative genomics software genomeSCOUT. ACE will use the technology on its internal proteomics research and will populate the piSCOUT module with exclusive content that the two companies will market jointly to industrial partners.

ACE BioSciences was formed in March by three former employees of Protana, now MDS Proteomics, also of Odense: Mxrtz, Chief Scientific Officer Angus King and Chief Financial Officer Christian Hodal. The company raised DKK70 million (US$9 million) in seed funding from Danish institutions BankInvest A/S, Vaekstfonden and Dansk Innovationsinvestering.

¿That will last for three years if we follow the budget,¿ Mxrtz said, noting that his forecast is conservative and does not include potential revenues the company could gain through licensing its data or validated targets to partners.

The company is integrating a broad range of disciplines in an effort to build models that capture protein-to-protein interactions within microbial cells and between pathogenic bacteria and their hosts.

¿We combine microbiology, molecular biology, proteomics ¿ and that includes mass spectrometry ¿ and then bioinformatics on top,¿ said Mxrtz.

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