Consolidation in Oligo industry and Growth for India based companies and outsourcing value proposition in Genomics and microarray/oligo industry

Ocimum Biosolutions acquires European based Oligo manufacturing company – Isogen Life Science

November 17, 2006, IJsselstein/Hyderabad – Ocimum Biosolutions, a leading provider of laboratory information management systems (LIMS), bioinformatics solutions, Microarrays and contract research headquartered in Hyderabad, India, has acquired the BioMolecules synthesis business of Isogen Life Science based in The Netherlands.

Ms. Anuradha Acharya, CEO of Ocimum Biosolutions said “We are very pleased to have taken a significant step towards becoming a global oligo player with the Isogen acquisition. We will continue looking for targets in related areas to scale up our oligo production capability. This acquisition will also help us become a more integrated genomics services provider with three delivery points in Indianapolis, IJsselstein and Hyderabad.”

Mr. Hans Beijersbergen van Henegouwen, MD of Isogen Life Science said, “It is an excellent opportunity for the Biomolecules Division of Isogen Life Science to become a global player in this competitive business. The new business configuration will be much more flexible and will be able to play an important role in the vast growing demand for oligo nucleotides all over the world. Ocimum is the perfect partner for fulfilling a broad platform of needs in this market segment.”

Avendus Advisors was the sole financial advisor to Ocimum for the deal. Commenting on the transaction, Shiraz Bugwadia, A.V.P., Avendus Advisors “Ocimum is one of the few Indian players within the BioIT and microarrays space to have scaled up successfully over the last couple of years. Ocimum has also been successful at using the inorganic route to scale rapidly by acquiring niche good quality companies in Europe such as MWG Biotech’s division and now Isogen Life Science.”

About Isogen Life Science:

Isogen Life Science (www.isogen-lifescience.com) is a leading supplier of products for the life science sector. The company provides a wide range of instruments, reagents and consumables in the areas of cell biology, molecular biology and biochemistry.

Isogen Life Science is a merger between B&L Systems (1987), the Benelux distributor for scientific instrument companies, and Isogen Bioscience (1988), a leading producer of DNA, RNA, peptides and related products, which are used around the world by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and leading research institutes.

About Ocimum Biosolutions:

Ocimum Biosolutions is a life sciences R&D enabling company with three main focus areas, BioIT, Microarrays and Contract research services. The US operations of the Company focuses on custom contract research services in the molecular biology area while the Indian operations provide BioIT services and Microarrays. Ocimum has more than 300 prestigious clients worldwide including the Centres for Disease Control, University of Toronto HIV clinic, National Research Council of Canada, Dow AgroSciences, Max Planck Institute etc.

Ocimum has adopted an inorganic strategy to ramp up the business fast and has demonstrated its capability to execute this strategy in the past. As a part of its strategy, Ocimum acquired a division of MWG Biotech, Germany in 2005. The Company has received a host of awards and recognitions. The Company has recently received the IT Innovation award by NASSCOM, presented by H.E. the President of India. Also, Red Herring magazine picked Ocimum as one of the eight compani es to watch in India. Deloitte ranked the Company as 4th Fastest growing Technology company in India and the Fastest growing Life Sciences Company in India.

For more information, please visit: www.ocimumbio.com

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standardization in microarray analysis software industry

scouting for the right software for the microarray analysis software , kept me thinkng why despite these software being used by scores or scientists no one has come forward to create what can be called as a standard for such software, the confusion rains in this field as one company’s software data do not work with another one and vice versa, For an industry like biology and drug discovery  that is trying to benefit from the knowledge of mathematics statitics and chemistry physics inability to port data across platform is a serious roadblock. there are standards such as MIAMe and MAGE but these are just data standards, not for softwares, I believe ther should be  something similar to ISO standards, SEI CMI etc.

majority of the newsgroup and forums are used by graduate and at times senor researchers to find out which is the best software to be used, I thought of starting a wiki page where researchers can post their comments and rate the products and compare the features against each other,

can open source ideals begin to give a real answer to biotech’s future

would it be possible to adopt the ideals of the open source in microarray development, there has been many research works that can be hailed as open source ideals in the biotechnology space, human genome project can be the perfect example, But apart from the few attempts by academia and non profits institutions there havnt been many attempts to look at this as a way forward, Microarray development can be termed as a lucrative field where such a coalition would accrue great benefits, By releasing the research works for others for free of cost it is possible to bring down the cost of microarray, there is no doubt that it would benefit the new research frontiers such as pharmacogenomics and toxicogenomics, by reducing the cost per array closer to any to other screening test currently adopted in hospitals or used by forensic labs. Microarray can also be used for reducing the costly PCR technique by closing in on a more focused number of genes to amplify from But it would mean that there has to be enough researchers out there who will be buying theses product in the first stage itself so as the company involved i such an audacious attempt would recover its cost and make profits to continue further work, thats a major hurdle to overcome, as custom microarray or at times even the existing one may not be useful to every researcher even if they are working on the same genome for example one person may be in toxicology research and the other in ecology or pure genetics even if they work on same genome the controls required and number of gene of interest would vary vastly across the spectrum, it may take a long time for the open source ideals to bear any fruit in this arena but that may be the way forward to bring meaningful results with less cost, till outsourcing can be a start for all things to come

 Abin paul Xavier

http://www.ocimumbio.com

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