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Chemdex teams with Commerce One to expand sales

The online seller of laboratory chemicals and equipment says it is teaming with the procurement software maker to expand its business with buyers and sellers online.

    Chemdex today said it is teaming with procurement software maker Commerce One to expand its business with buyers and sellers online.

    The deal is the latest partnership Chemdex, an online seller of laboratory chemicals and equipment, has made in its move to expose its catalog to a larger customer base.

    Chemdex operates a Web portal selling chemicals and equipment from more than 150 suppliers to universities, biotech start-ups and pharmaceutical companies. It will use Commerce One as the middleman in transactions between businesses.

    "The partnership will enable Chemdex to handle more orders from the larger customer base Commerce One brings to the table," said Erica Rugullies, an analyst with Giga Information Group.

    Today's deal is one of many for Chemdex, which has limited its online business to several industries. Chemdex competes against SciQuest, which also provides a marketplace for suppliers and buyers of laboratory chemicals and equipment, and VerticalNet, which runs about 55 industry-specific business-to-business trading exchanges. An exchange allows companies to buy and sell goods and services online.

    In December, Chemdex and hospital care provider Tenet Healthcare formed a new company to provide business-to-business e-commerce services to the healthcare industry. In November, Chemdex announced an alliance with IBM to provide services to the pharmaceutical and health care industries.

    The market for business-to-business transactions is expected to grow to $5 trillion by 2002, according to analysts' estimates.

    Last month, research firm Gartner Group reported the worldwide business services market would grow from $145 billion in 1999 to about 7 percent of the predicted $105 trillion market for all global sales transactions in 2004.