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Brain Researchers Collaborate to Form Neuromics Company

NEW YORK, Oct 10 – Recently retired editor-in-chief of Science Floyd Bloom said Tuesday he had formed a new company, Neurome Technologies, to bring automated and high-throughput gene expression analysis into the field of neuroscience.

“Our initial business model is to collaborate with pharmaceutical companies in applying the methods of gene expression and protein expression mapping and put them into the context of the chemical anatomy of the brain—the neurotransmitters receptors and circuits that are linked to neurological and behavioral disorders,” said Bloom, CEO of the new La Jolla, Calif.-based venture.

Some scientists estimate that as many as half of all genes are expressed only in the brain.

Bloom, who will retain his position as head of neuropharmacology at the Scripps Research Institute, said that Neurome would announce a partnership with a major pharmaceutical company within the next 10 days. Neurome has so far raised $9 million in financing.

Warren Young, a computer-based neuroscientist at Scripps, will serve as the company’s CTO, and John Morrison of Mount Sinai School of Medicine will be CSO. Both Scripps and Mount Sinai, founding shareholders of Neurome, are both involved in developing Neurome’s proprietary technologies.

These technologies include MiceSlice, for standardized preparation of brain section tissues, NeuroZoom, for computer-aided extraction, analysis, and visualization of quantitative data from microscope images of the brain, BrainArchive, an electronic brain atlas for archiving, integrating, and comparing   brain structure and circuitry data, and BrainPrint for automated comparison of quantitative, spatial, and volumetric data from manipulated, wild-type, and control mice.

Young said that recent advances in genomics and computer science were driving the demand for procedures that could rapidly extract accurate, reliable quantitative data on brain structure.

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