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volume 7, number 25
June 23, 2003
REPRINTED FROM
2003 GenomeWeb, LLC. All rights reserved. Unauthorized photocopying or facsimile distribution of this copyrighted newsletter is prohibited by
Federal law. Such copyright infringement is subject to investigation by the FBI. Penalties include up to one year in prison and/or a $25,000 fine.
IT DIDN'T TAKE LONG for Molecular Mining's soft-
ware to find a new home following the company's
closure in March. Tom Radcliffe and Mark Chatterley,
the former director and manager of software develop-
ment at Molecular Mining, respectively, jumped at the
opportunity to launch a new bioinformatics company
around the GeneLinker microarray analysis platform.
Radcliffe, who joined Molecular Mining "exactly a
year and a day before we
closed" and "rapidly fell in love"
with the software, said the
entrepreneurial urge came on
strong after the company ceased
operations. Realizing that
"there's a value proposition
there if we can deliver GeneLink-
er to individual researchers at a
cost they can afford," he and
Chatterley wasted no time nego-
tiating a non-exclusive license to
sell, support, and develop new
versions of the software from
Parteq Innovations, the Queens University tech transfer
company that retained rights to the technology follow-
ing the closure of Molecular Mining.
Despite the familiar faces, the software is in quite a
different environment than its former home: It will be
living on the web. The two-person company does not
plan to hire a sales force, but is marketing the soft-
ware solely through its website.
Radcliffe said that a key part of this strategy is
ensuring a high ranking in search engines; and sure
enough, the young firm's website appears at the top
of the hit list for a Google search on "gene expression
analysis software" [typing in the phrase without
quotes yields a second-place spot, just below the web
page for Michael Eisen's lab.]
"Web-based selling is obviously going to be con-
siderably cheaper in terms of cost of sales than run-
ning a large sales force," Radcliffe said. "We will see
whether or not it's successful."
Even if Google doesn't turn out to be the most
effective marketing tool, Rad-
cliffe said that Predictive Pat-
terns' narrowness of focus
should help it survive in a highly
competitive marketplace where
its predecessor failed. "MMC
had this three-legged business
model [software, services, and
research collaborations], and
for a small company it was
difficult to cover that kind of
broad perspective," Radcliffe
said. "We want to stay focused
strictly on the software, and
that's probably our biggest difference."
Unlike many bioinformatics software companies,
Predictive Patterns has adopted a simple and transpar-
ent pricing structure that is "substantially lower" than
the pricing model for the software under MMC.
The entry-level GeneLinker Gold 3.1 is $995 for
a single-user license, while the high-end GeneLinker
Platinum 2.1 is $4,995. Current MMC customers can
purchase a service contract for GeneLinker Gold and
Platinum for $495 and $2,495, respectively. All fees
are for a perpetual license and include a year's worth
of upgrades.
N E W B I E W A T C H
With a Slimmed-Down Strategy, Predictive Patterns Picks up Where MMC Left off
"We want to stay focused
strictly on the software,
and that's probably our
biggest difference."
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2003 GenomeWeb, LLC. All rights reserved. Unauthorized photocopying or facsimile distribution of this copyrighted newsletter is prohibited by
Federal law. Such copyright infringement is subject to investigation by the FBI. Penalties include up to one year in prison and/or a $25,000 fine.
REPRINTED FROM
volume 7, number 25
June 23, 2003
The company does not offer an academic discount,
but claims that its regular prices are "far below" its
competitors' academic discounts.
In another departure from Molecular Mining, Predic-
tive Patterns has discontinued a version of GeneLinker
Platinum that was bundled with an IBM workstation.
"People who are running high-end analyses often
already have high-end hardware, and I didn't see the
need for that," said Radcliffe.
The company's website has been live since June 2,
and "we're starting to get fairly regular traffic in down-
loads," Radcliffe said, with interest both from former
MMC customers as well as potential new customers.
As far as new hires go, Radcliffe said that he and
Chatterley are currently talking with several "senior
members" of the former MMC development team,
but the internally funded firm plans to "grow as
resources permit."
Future enhancements to the GeneLinker products
include more scripting capability so that users can auto-
mate their analyses, as well as expanding the use of the
technology into a broader application domain.
"One of the things that I spent quite a bit of time
on at MMC was working on various proteomics prob-
lems," said Radcliffe. "The software, as it stands, can
operate on proteomics data just fine... So making people
aware of the fact that they can use software in other
areas is one direction we'd like to take."
-- BT