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Celera Begins Talks to Sell Israel Database Subscription - Newspaper Says

NEW YORK, Feb 7 – The Israeli government began talks this week with Celera for a subscription to its database, the Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported Wednesday.

The newspaper said that Celera is requesting $1 million a year for a three-year subscription that would allow 150 people to use the database simultaneously. Israel has reportedly asked Celera to consider expanding the deal so that 200 scientists could use the database at the same time.

A Celera spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.

The reported amount Celera has requested falls at the low end of what the Rockville, Md.-based company typically charges. Celera has previously stated that it charges between $6,000 and $15,000 per scientist. At this rate, a one-year contract for 150 scientists would cost between $900,000 and $2.25 million.

In addition, a deal with Israel might eliminate the revenues Celera currently receives from Israel’s Weizmann Institute, which has a subscription to the database. Ha’aretz said that Weizmann Institute researchers would be allowed to access the database through the government deal.

The Israeli government is also currently exploring the possibility of setting up its own sequencing capabilities in Israel. The Israeli Science Ministry is considering establishing and financing two sequencing centers, in the north and the south of the country.

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