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Caprion Allies with Three IT Heavyweights to Build Proteomics Bioinformatics Platform

NEW YORK, June 25 - Proteomics startup Caprion Pharmaceuticals is collaborating with Sun Microsystems, Oracle, and CGI on the development of a bioinformatics platform for proteomic disease modeling, the companies said Monday. 

The platform will be offered as part of Caprion's CellCarta drug discovery product. Sun and Oracle will contribute servers, storage, and infrastructure technology to the project, while CGI will provide s ystems integration capability. Oracle Consulting will also design a data warehouse as part of the collaboration. Caprion will combine these technologies with its cell biology  and mass spectrometry techniques to analyze, map, and store the protein differences between normal and diseased cells. The company uses mass spectrometers to digitize cellular information in multiple states. 

Caprion intends to use the CellCarta platform to create comprehensive three-dimensional maps of protein location and orientation within cells. 

"Sun and Oracle's significant contributions of  software  and information management capabilities are beyond that of any proteomics company, and allow us to apply key knowledge from other industries to meet our challenges," said Lloyd Segal, president and CEO of Caprion, in a statement. "CGI's ability to integrate the entire program made our goals of data throughput possible in the limited time we have available." 

Sun will provide Enterprise-class servers, Sun StorEdge systems, and the Solaris operating environment as part of the deal. Oracle is providing its Oracle database  as the software foundation for the project, while Oracle Consulting will design and develop the pipeline data warehouse. CGI will provide system integration, consultation, project management, and development for this project. 

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. 

Caprion will house the platform in a specialized data center, which it expects to be operational in September 2001. The proposed center will process up to 100 terabytes of information per year, and will be maintained by CGI for five years. 

Montreal-based Caprion has raised a total of C$58.1 million (US$ 38.2 million) to date, not including a C$11.6 million investment from Micromass for the application of Micromass' mass spectrometry technologies to Caprion's proteomics efforts.

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