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Solutions for Protein Analyses


Founded only in November 2005, the manufacturer of diagnostic instuments, CovalX GmbH, has reached several milestones. Recently, the company assured financing with ZKB Start-up Finance.



Since the foundation in November 2005 the CovalX GmbH achieved great progress in development of their markets and with setting up their company as a successful start-up company. Both founders, Alexis Nazabal and Ryan Wenzel, are researchers with Prof Renato Zenobi (ETH Zurich) after receiving their PhD. They hold the patents for the technology CovalX is based upon.


Customers even in Japan

The technology, developed by CovalX, allows analyzing the interactions of proteins faster and easier by means of mass spectrometry. Protein Interactions are actions, which allow the protein to operate all basic processes within a cell. The possible applications include research labs that try to understand cell processes, manufacturing of antibodies and drug development. There new technologies are used to search for new active components. The market CovalX targets is both the academic and industrial research worldwide. So far the team received a very positive feedback to their products. Meanwhile researchers in Japan and the EU have ordered the technology. The US market is in process. CovalX has secured the exclusive rights for the patented method for analyzing protein interactions with chemical stabilization and mass spectrometry. The business model of the start-up company so far is to provide the researchers with the necessary equipment for experiments. The tools, developed by CovalX, consist of chemical kits, mass detectors and software, to detect fast and easily the protein structures with mass spectrometers.

At present CovalX sells a proprietary technology, which can be implemented in an existing conventional MALDI mass spectrometer and therefore enables the user to detect intact protein structures. While the products mainly show that CovalX is a promising company, additional research services are offered for both, industrial and academic clients.


The Billion market is waiting

The analysis of protein interactions is a multi billion dollar market, which grows yearly with two digit rates and profits directly from the Biotech Boom. It is a very interesting business area that connects the markets of proteomics, drug development and diagnostics. “By2010 we expect a sales volume of 21 Million CHF” states Dr. Ryan Wenzel, Chief Technology Officer. At present the company accomplishes a round financing, where investors should cede 3 million CHF to the company, said Wenzel. Initial support is coming to the company through various channels. That is support from ETH and first seed capital from the Volkswirtschaftlichen Stiftung (Federal Foundation for Promotion of National Economy). Also, the Zürcher Kantonalbank ZKB finances further development of CovalX with convertible bonds. The company wants to implement the next five analysis solutions as well as establish their own labs in Zurich.


Awarded with the CTI Start-up Label

Besides the success in financing, CovalX has made operational progress. The company received a CTI Start-up Label from the federal organization KTI/CTI. The label certifies the ability of the company to build a sustainable business. Additionally, CovalX is featured as the one of the 100 most promising European companies for future technologies from the US-American technology magazine “Red Herring”.

These achievements should support CovalX enough in the coming months to obtain the necessary capital from Swiss or foreign investors for expanding. (bz)


CovalX GmbH

Schumacherweg 15, 8046 Zürich

Tel: +41 43 299 9010




Founders, Federal Foundation for Promotion of National Economy, Zürcher Kantonalbank