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FEI Company Joins European Union Interaction Proteome Project
Largest EU-Funded Integrated Proteomics Project to Date Will Focus on Major Health and Disease Problems


EINDHOVEN, Netherlands, April 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- FEI Company (NASDAQ:FEIC) announced today that it will join the EU-funded Interaction Proteome project formed to enable Europe to become an international scientific leader in functional Proteomics. Interaction Proteome, coordinated by the Max Planck Institute for Biochemisty in Martinsried, Germany, brings together the scientific excellence of eleven leading European research institutions and companies.

The project will receive euro 12 million over five years within the 6th Framework Program of the European Commission to develop novel technologies for Proteomics research. The project's key objectives include creating a "platform of routine methods" for analyzing protein interactions in bio-medical research, involving scientists, equipment and data specialists in several fields.

"We are excited and honored to participate in this project. New technologies, testing systems and approaches will be required to process the explosion of data expected to come out of this field," commented Dr. Werner Hax, life sciences product manager for FEI's Electron Optics Division. "Participation in the Interaction Proteome consortium underscores FEI's commitment to providing customers with important life-science technologies. Our advanced high-resolution imaging, data collection and visualization competency, along with the complementary nature of the technologies of our partners, gives us high confidence that the work of this consortium will lead to applicable results within the drug discovery chain."

Interaction Proteome will provide direct interaction between technology developers and structural biologists in the consortium, shortening the time required to bring new knowledge through the application stage. It will permit development of novel technologies, including a high-end mass spectrometer, high-density peptide arrays and enhanced visualization technology for light and electron microscopy. FEI is a leader in advanced electron microscopy.

FEI will collaborate within the project with the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, a leading laboratory in electron tomography. This collaboration will stimulate the development of a new gene ration of instruments with improved sensitivity suited to the analysis of protein complexes within the cell. In addition to the potential hardware developments, algorithms for efficient parallelization and template libraries will be targeted objectives to allow and speed up the detection and identification of molecular structures in tomograms.

Extensive bio-informatics support is a key element in the project to cope with the massive increase in experimental data on protein interactions obtained using novel technologies. In particular, efficient integration of data sets represents a key challenge in proteomics and functional genomics.

"We are proud to be part of this EU-funded consortium which sets the stage for an efficient analysis and systems modeling of fundamental biological processes in health and disease management," said Dr. Rob Fastenau, senior vice-president and general manager of FEI's Electron Optics Division. "Helping genome and proteome researchers in the next phase of their quest to unravel complex biological and biochemical systems directly relates to our proven commitment of providing advanced electron microscopy solutions".

In addition to FEI Company, the Interaction Proteome partners are: Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany; University of Southern Denmark, Odense; Flanders Interuniversity Institute of Biotechnology, Belgium; University Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen; Beatson Institute for Cancer Research Glasgow, UK; GSF-National Research Center for Environment and Health, Neuherberg, Germany; ThermoElectron GmbH, Bremen, Germany; EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany; Jerini AG, Berlin, Germany.

About FEI:

FEI Company provides advanced Tools for Nanotech(TM) to a range nanotechnology markets, including life science, materials science, semiconductors, and data storage. Its ion beam and electron beam products, market-leading DualBeam(TM) systems, and productivity-enhancing automation software packages enable researchers and manufacturers to fabricate and modify nanoscale structures and to view and to characterize them in three dimensions down to the atomic level. The company and its predecessors have been paving the way for nanoscale exploration and discovery since 1946. FEI Company currently has more than $360 million in revenue, consistent operating profitability, manufacturing and development facilities in North America and Europe, and service operations in more than 40 countries worldwide.

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Source: FEI Company








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