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GeneProt-TM-, Inc. and Waters Corporation Announce Technology Partnership Agreement Covers Equity Investment, Purchase of Products and Services

NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. and MILFORD, Mass.--(BW HealthWire)--Dec. 3, 2001--GeneProt(TM), Inc. and Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT - news) today announced the formation of a technology partnership that will result in an expansion of the proteomics capabilities that GeneProt plans to offer to the pharmaceutical industry through its new industrial-scale proteomics facility in the United States. Waters, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Micromass U.K. Ltd., will purchase equity securities of GeneProt with a maximum value of US$10 million. At the same time, GeneProt will purchase approximately US$20 million of mass spectrometry equipment, related systems and services from Micromass.

We expect that these instruments, in combination with others, will comprise the largest number of mass spectrometers housed in any proteomics facility in the U.S. The companies also announced that they will collaborate on product development to advance the application of these instruments to industrial-scale proteomics, based on GeneProt's first six months of successful operations in Geneva, Switzerland.

Once construction is completed next to the company's North Brunswick headquarters, GeneProt's new industrial-scale proteomics discovery and development center will utilize a total of 45 new Micromass Q-Tof instruments. Of these, forty are advanced integrated Micromass CapLC(TM), Q-Tof Micro(TM) (capillary liquid chromatography, quadrapole time-of-flight mass spectrometry) systems. Shipments are planned for 2002 with the bulk of the instruments to be installed by mid-year.

John Nelson, Senior Vice President of Waters said, ``This order is a testimony to the power of the integration of Waters' HPLC expertise and Micromass MS technology in the marketplace.''

Two Micromass Q-Tof Micro mass spectrometers will also be installed in GeneProt's European facility. In addition, Waters Alliance HPLC systems will be installed in North Brunswick as they have been in Geneva.

``As we move forward to the completion of our U.S. facility, we are very pleased to continue our relationship with Waters Corp. and its affiliates as our technology partners,'' said Cedric Loiret-Bernal, M.D., GeneProt's Chief Executive Officer. ``The addition of Micromass' leading mass spectrometry systems to our proprietary, integrated technology platform will contribute significantly to the productivity of our new center and help us further extend our leadership in proteomics,'' he continued. ``We are confident in our strategy to identify, characterize, and synthesize naturally-occurring proteins with speed and accuracy through the use of industrial-scale data analysis and storage and massive parallel processing.''

Robert Williams, Chairman of Micromass U.K. Ltd. noted, ``Micromass aims to be the dominant provider of mass spectrometry solutions into the life science market through the development of innovative, application driven technologies. The selection of Micromass as a principal supplier for the new GeneProt facility in New Jersey both recognizes and validates that goal.''

The North Brunswick center is expected to be fully operational in the second quarter of 2002 and will double GeneProt's capacity.

About GeneProt(TM)

GeneProt(TM), Inc. is a global industrial-scale proteomics company focused on identifying, characterizing, selecting and, when appropriate, synthesizing certain human proteins on behalf of life sciences companies for use in the discovery and development of new therapeutic proteins, protein drug targets and protein biomarkers. GeneProt brings together and integrates international teams of leading experts in proteomics and bioinformatics with the vision, insight and ability to speed the development and enhance the quality of tomorrow's human therapies.

GeneProt's partners include leading pharmaceutical and technology companies and academic and scientific institutions such as Novartis, Compaq, Bruker Daltonics and the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics. The company will pursue additional partnerships with organizations that can derive value from or bring value to GeneProt's unique offerings in proteomics discovery and production. Pharmaceutical partnerships represent potential significant revenue sources for both the short and the long term.

With headquarters in North Brunswick, New Jersey, GeneProt opened the world's first fully operational, industrial-scale proteomics discovery and production facility in Geneva, Switzerland, in April 2001. The facility houses the world's largest commercial supercomputer, equipped with state-of-the-art mass spectrometers and some of the most advanced bioinformatic and computing data-storage technologies and uses leading genetic and protein databases. GeneProt's capacity will double when the second facility opens at its headquarters' site in the first half of 2002. For more information, please visit www.geneprot.com.

About Micromass

Micromass, a wholly owned subsidiary of Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT - news), is a leading supplier of mass spectrometers with applications in the Life Science and Analytical Chemistry markets. Micromass' Q-Tof range of instruments and associated systems are already recognized as the industry standard for the characterization and identification of peptides and proteins, a major challenge of the post-genomic era. Following its collaboration with Caprion Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Montreal, GeneProt represents the second of several partnerships which Micromass plans to enter into with enterprises which have non competing technologies in the field of proteomics.

About Waters

Waters Corporation is a leading supplier of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) instrumentation and consumables, thermal analysis and mass spectrometry products. Around the globe, Waters products are used by pharmaceutical, life sciences, industrial, university, and government scientists in research and development, quality assurance, and environmental testing laboratories. Waters supplies its customers with technology that provides fundamental data on the composition of natural products and synthetic chemical mixtures as well as the physical properties of materials.

Any statements contained in this press release that relate to Waters Corporation's future plans, events or performance are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, those relating to technology and product development, market acceptance, government regulation and regulatory approval processes, intellectual property rights and litigation, dependence on strategic partners, ability to obtain financing, competitive products and other risks. Actual results, events or performance may differ materially.

Editor's Note: GeneProt's new corporate headquarters location is as follows:

  • GeneProt(TM), Inc.
  • Technology Centre of New Jersey
  • 671 Highway One
  • North Brunswick, New Jersey 08902
  • Telephone: 732/246-8950
  • Facsimile: 732/246-8948


Contact:
     for GeneProt:
     Burson-Marsteller
     Courtney Sandora
     (312) 596-3431
     courtney_sandora@chi.bm.com
     or
     Contact for Waters:
     Brian K. Mazar, V.P., Investor Relations
     (508) 482-2193
     mazar_brian@waters.com