Inspired by a 2004 paper by Vyvyan Howard et al (HERE) I have been trying to develop a business model whereby high quality quantification of the phenotypic impact of specific gene knock-outs in well defined strains of transgenic mice is provided as a service.
The quantification is achieved with protocolised stereological techniques, and clients get the specific data they need on time and in full. At the same time the parent business builds a proprietary database that can be data-mined to provide new insights and discoveries.
I worked with a Masters Student, James Stone, at the Manchester Science Enterprise Centre in 2007 to develop the concept and try to understand the market positioning for such a business, tentatively called PhenoQuant™. James and I did some outline work on a business plan and he explored routes for funding the opportunity. The plan is not mature and it is currently dormant but this is a real opportunity to bring quantification to one key aspect of modern Gene based biomedical research work.