Ironically for a company investigating the key to life, Abcam’s first office was in a former morgue. Jonathan Milner founded Abcam in 1998 to sell antibodies online to laboratories in 50 countries after becoming frustrated by the difficulty of obtaining antibodies during his own research work at Cambridge University. The company now supplies more than 5,000 antibodies that track proteins in the human genome project. Its website receives 14,000 hits every week, and its sales have grown 170% a year from £248,000 in 2000 to £1.8m in 2002.
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