LONDON ¿ Oxford GlycoSciences plc (OGS) is tightening its focus on proteomics, with plans to set up a new industrial scale facility for high-throughput protein expression analysis, and the sale of its biochemicals business to Glyko Inc., of Novato, Calif., for a maximum of #1.3 million (US$2.1 million).

Of this amount, $750,000 will be paid immediately, and $750,000 will be paid on completion of the transfer of certain technology (which will not be before July 1, 1999), with $600,000 payable on the second anniversary of signing the deal, as long as the cumulative two year sales are in excess of US$2.1 million, and depending on the extent to which the transferred inventory, which has a book value of #213,000, is used up. OGS will grant Glyko an exclusive license over certain intellectual property.

The biochemicals business had sales of #793,000 in the year ended December 1998, and contributed #168,000 to the business after costs.

Michael Kranda, CEO, said, ¿the sale of the biochemicals business will allow OGS to focus on our key strengths of proteomics, bioinformatics and drug discovery and development. The transfer of this product line also allows Glyko to extend their product portfolio and continue to serve the customer base developed over recent years by OGS.¿

OGS plans to set up a dedicated proteome facility in Milton Park, Oxford, close to the company¿s headquarters in Abingdon. The existing site at Abingdon will be retained for drug discovery work. OGS has appointed Graham Vitty, formerly director of operations and human resources at Glaxo Wellcome¿s U.K. manufacturing company, to run the new facility.

¿The new facility will come on line just in time to meet our growing capacity requirements and gives us the opportunity to optimize process flows, efficiencies and quality control parameters,¿ Kranda said.

OGS already has a number of discovery and development collaborations in proteomics. n