By Brady Huggett

Bruker Daltonics Inc. and Biacore International AB said they are teaming up to give those involved in functional proteomics what they need ¿ information.

Billerica, Mass.-based Bruker will work with Uppsala, Sweden-based Biacore in an attempt to integrate Biacore¿s surface plasmon resonance technology with Bruker¿s mass spectrometry capabilities. When complete, the companies will look to sell the resulting product.

¿Initially, [the collaboration] focuses on technology and science and software development,¿ said Frank Laukien, CEO and president of Bruker Daltonics. ¿It won¿t immediately result in products or incremental sales. The focus now is the integration ¿ later on we expect to have products from it.¿

Biacore provides functional information on biomolecular binding interactions using its technology. It is used in various ways, including analyzing protein-protein interactions and ligand fishing.

Laukien said the companies tentatively expect to have products ready and begin sales sometime in 2002. The combination of the two companies¿ technologies seemed a natural fit, Laukien said.

¿The types of information that come out of Biacore¿s SPR technology really ideally complements what we are doing with mass spectrometry. If we can tie those systems together and make that combined information in a seamless package and provide it, we think it will be information that people will want in the future.¿

Biacore has a track record that drew Bruker in.

¿It was very important for us to work with a proven leader ¿ Biacore has more than 2,000 [SPR] systems sold out there and it is the clear market leader in this SPR field,¿ Laukien said. ¿That¿s the best due diligence we can do.¿

The companies did not release financial details for the collaboration, but it is structured so there is ¿roughly an equal commitment from both sides,¿ Laukien said. Both will contribute engineering, scientific and research and development resources. And when the final combined product is ready for the market, the companies will work in tandem again.

¿It will be a co-marketing,¿ Laukien said. ¿The SPR and the mass spectrometry are comparable in cost and you need the marketing experience from both companies to sell it, so it makes a lot of sense to have both involved.¿

The companies hope the finished product will be applicable to both big biotechnology firms and pharmaceutical companies, as well as any company doing proteomics and target validation. Then there are medical schools and universities, Laukien said.

Bruker makes its living supplying life science systems and mass spectrometry research tools. Although the company provides what others need for drug discovery, it is not a drug discovery company itself.

¿We have no intention of doing that,¿ Laukien said. ¿In fact, we have every intention of not doing that. We are quite clearly a major tool supplier and we want to remain a pure tool provider.¿

Bruker Daltonics¿ stock (NASDAQ:BDAL) rose 86 cents Wednesday to close at $23.

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