Agilent and BioTrove have forged a non-exclusive mass spectrometry partnership designed to enhance the screening of candidate drug compounds in early stage development.

 

Under the terms of the agreement, BioTrove’s offering will combine its RapidFire sample preparation system, which it claims is already used by 11 of the top 15 global drugmakers, with Agilent’s Triple Quadrupole and Time-of-Flight mass spec apparatus.

The deal, which builds on the firms’ existing strategic relationship, also covers Agilent’s atmospheric pressure ionization sources with the mass spectrometers. These are used to generate quantitative and qualitative results via selective mass analysis, based on the molecular composition of the target compounds.

The two firms are not alone in targeting the lucrative mass spectrometry market, which in Europe alone generated revenues of $562m in 2007, according to a recent report by Frost & Sullivan. The authors estimate that the sector will grow to be worth some $1bn by the year 2014, making it a particularly attractive proposition for companies capable of investing in or supplying the necessary technology.