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A little liquid deal
March 2006
by Chris Anderson  |  Email the author
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DUBLIN, Calif.—In early January, Eksigent Technologies announced it had signed a distribution agreement with Applied Biosystems under which Applied Biosystems would offer a line of HPLC systems based on Eksigent's liquid handling technology integrated with Applied Biosystems/MDS Sciex mass spectrometers.
 
The new Tempo LC systems will be sold and serviced by Applied Biosystems/MDS Sciex, and includes platforms for nano-LC, high-throughput micro-LC and an LC-MALDI deposition systems, based on Eksigent's Microfluidic Flow Control (MFC) technology. Targeted squarely at the fast-growing proteomics market, Applied Biosystems and MDS Sciex also anticipate other potential markets for the line including small-molecule qualitative and quantitative applications.
 
For Eksigent, the deal is one that promises to greatly increase sales of its bread and butter products, its microfluidic handling systems that can accurately dispense minute amounts of liquid reagents at flow rates as low as 20 nL per minute.
 
"This is a very valuable development for our company," says David Neyer, director of research and development at Eksigent. "We have been well-received and actively developing our own LC sales channel for our products, but this will further enhance our ability to serve the LC/MS market."
 
The move to incorporate Eksigent's liquid handling systems in the Applied Biosystems/MDS Sciex Tempo line was made to provide "one-stop shopping" for the breadth of LC/MS systems.
 
"The technology that Eksigent is providing for these products is a unique direct pumping mechanisms and flow control system that enables delivery of low liquid flows," says Sandra Chu, OEM product management and information specialist with MDS Sciex. "As part of a complete liquid chromatography system it enables optimum chromatographic performance at nano and micro flow rates with fast cycle times, excellent peak shapes, extremely reproducible gradients and retention times, as well as reduced solvent consumption."
 
Neyer feels that in addition to Eksigent's liquid handling technology, the deal also made sense for both sides based on his company's expertise making and selling its line of HPLC equipment. "We aren't just a liquid handling technology that they have integrated in their product line," he says, "we bring a real understanding and expertise in the market and in terms of what works and what doesn't."
 
Under the terms of the agreement, Applied Biosystems/MDS Sciex will retain exclusive rights to sell the Tempo line of LC systems with any new systems or to the existing installed base. In countries where Eksigent has an existing distribution agreement, the companies will share sales leads, with Applied Biosystems/MDS Sciex responsible for sales to existing or new customers and Eksigent responsible for sales related for use on non-Applied Biosystems mass spec systems.
 
Branding of the Tempo line will be similar to the Intel branding strategy. Products will be labeled Applied Biosystems/MDS Sciex powered by Eksigent Technologies
 
Code: E030613

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