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Biotech Firm Protein Forest Branching Out into North East England

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Protein Forest, a Boston-based firm, specialising in Proteomics, is expanding into Europe to take advantage of a growing industry that could soon be worth $20bn globally.

The company will work closely with NEPAF, the North East Proteome Analysis Facility in Newcastle after learning about the facility from One North East’s Inward Investment team in the United States.

Proteomics is the study of protein structures and interactions, a field that builds on the discovery of DNA and the human genome and has practical applications from the health industry through to green energy. In healthcare, proteins provide the critical link between genes and disease giving them the potential to transform the health industry.

The global market for Proteomics was worth $6.7bn last year and it’s estimated the industry could be worth $19.4bn by 2014.

Protein Forest develops equipment and software for scientists in the field of proteomics. The company’s fractionator will help strengthen North East England’s claim to be one of the leading centres for research in the field of Proteomics, with researchers at NEPAF, able to analyse the results produced by the firm.
NEPAF, funded by One North East and the European Regional Development Fund, provides access to equipment, techniques and expertise for the use of proteomics in drug discovery, development and manufacture and in the diagnosis and monitoring of disease. Protein Forest will initially employ two people in the North East and is expected to bring additional research contracts to NEPAF. The firm expects to take on more staff in the future as demand for their services grows.

James Hainsworth, Technical Support Manager at Protein Forest said: “The European division will be headquartered in Newcastle and will support sales, product demonstrations, applications development and collaborative projects with customers across Europe.”
“One North East’s inward investment team played a crucial role in alerting us to the specialist facilities at NEPAF which will enhance the opportunities we are able to offer customers.”

Dr Glen Kemp, Programme Manager at NEPAF said: “The UK is a market leader in Proteomics, and there aren’t many facilities in the world that can rival the equipment and expertise available here in Newcastle.
“Protein Forest’s technology will be a great asset for us, it complements the capabilities available at the NEPAF facilties, and the partnership is already creating new opportunities for us to exploit.”

Andrew Elwick of One North East’s Inward Investment and Aftercare team said: “International companies are increasingly attracted to the region by the world-class science and innovation occurring in fields like Life Sciences here in North East England.

“Projects like this demonstrate One North East’s ability to make connections between leading hi-tech firms and the cutting edge research taking place in our region in order to create new jobs and investment.”