A Request for Proposal (RFP) has been issued for the contract to manage the Industrial Macromolecular Crystallography Association Collaborative Access Team (IMCA-CAT) beamlines at APS sector 17. The RFP is issued by the Industrial Macromolecular Crystallography Association, the group of pharmaceutical companies that comprise the membership of IMCA-CAT. The members of IMCA are committed to the use of macromolecular crystallography as a tool in drug discovery and product development. The mission of IMCA-CAT itself is "to provide an outstanding support environment for macromolecular crystallography by developing and operating an efficient, reliable, high-throughput facility at which both confidential and proprietary experiments can be readily and easily accommodated."
The current management contract is held by the Center for Synchrotron Radiation Research and Instrumentation (CSRRI) at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), which constructed and now operates the IMCA-CAT insertion device and bending magnet beamlines, biochemistry laboratory, offices, and other resources that comprise the facility.
IMCA Supervisory Board Chair Dr. Robert T. Nolte, Research Investigator with GlaxoSmithKline, Inc., an IMCA participating company, said of the RFP, "We have had a long and productive history under the existing IIT partnership. This RFP is a means to explore all the options that are currently available to IMCA at this time. We encourage anyone with the vision and ability to run a world class beam line to consider our RFP. "
The RFP will be evaluated on the basis of proposed scientific and technical output; ability to attract outside users (i.e., non-CAT members); the support provided for users; quality of facilities that are to be made available to users; and effectiveness of use for the beam time allocated to IMCA-CAT.
Details on the IMCA RFP can be found at http://www.imca.aps.anl.gov/rfp/.
In addition to GlaxoSmithKline, Inc., pharmaceutical firms currently enrolled as IMCA members are Abbott Laboratories, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Eli Lilly and Co., Merck & Co., Inc., Novartis, Pfizer, Inc., Schering-Plough Corp., and 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals, Inc.