New CRO ProtaGene to target analytics demand; plans for US testing facility

The CEO of newly formed ProtaGene says drug innovation and competition is increasing demand for CROs with analytics expertise.

ProtaGene officially launched this week after the CRO Protagen Protein Services and BioAnalytix merged with GeneWerk in mid-2021

The idea is to meld protein science and analytics expertise with vector safety, integration site analysis, and bioinformatics capabilities to create a CRO that can cater to evolving industry demands, says CEO Martin Blüggel.

“ProtaGene is unique in its completeness of analytical portfolio in combination with its flexibility in supporting developments of biologics and cell and gene therapy up to market release," Blüggel said. 

The focus on advanced analytics reflects the challenges faced by many developers, particularly those working on novel, highly complex products, according to Blüggel.

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“The amazing innovations in drug modalities, the need for faster time to clinic and market as well as increased number of players do result in an impressive increase in worldwide pharma pipelines," he said. "Analytical characterization and release do become a bottleneck in many programs.”

ProtaGene, like its constituents, is owned by Boston-based private equity group Ampersand Capital Partners. According to Blüggel, creating the CRO is just the first stage of Ampersand’s plan. The backing has so far helped ProtaGene hit major milestones, including expanding cell and gene therapy assay capabilities and preparing for a new testing facility in the U.S.