This article was originally published in Start Up
The Institut Pasteur, France's leading private medical research institution, has licensed some of its functional proteomics technology to Hybrigenics SA and houses the start-up on its campus, providing it with various technology support functions. Hybrigenics is using automated functional proteomics systems for research into infectious diseases and cancer.
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The 125-year old Institut Pasteur has never relied entirely on state funding: today, only a third of its €174 million ($170 million) budget comes from the health and research ministries. In part due to changes instituted in the last two years, license fees and the exploitation of the Pasteur trademark now provide about 45% of Pasteur's budget-with €72 million generated in 2001. And the efforts of the Institute to do technology transfer have resulted in the creation of nine start-ups in the past four years.
Advocates of proteomics argue that without an understanding of protein interactions, drug researchers will be attempting to paint Old Masters with an incomplete set of genomic paint-by-number instructions.
It is a world, at least the US corner of it, in which any common understanding of drug value is confused by opposing incentives – to opacity and transparency, to looking at benefit broadly or narrowly, long-term or short-term: value, in short, to whom?