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Celera Signs First Taiwanese Subscriber to CDS

NEW YORK, March 19 – Celera Genomics said Monday it signed its first Taiwanese customer for the Celera Discovery System.

Vita Genomics, a start-up focused on studying diseases prevalent in Asian populations, said it would use the information and tools contained in the database to better understand diseases as well as to create diagnostics and therapies.

"Using Celera’s datasets, we intend to uncover targets for human diseases prevalent in the Taiwanese population as a basis for understanding the causes of disease in the Asia Pacific region and to develop and commercialize products for diagnosing, treating and preventing these diseases," Ellson Chen, CEO of Vita, said in a statement.

Chen was formerly a principal scientist at Celera.

The companies did not disclose the terms of the multi-year deal, but Celera has previously said that pharmaceutical customers pay between $5 million and $15 million a year for a subscription to CDS.

The deal is the latest sign of Celera’s increasing presence in the Asian market. In February, Celera’s Chinese subsidiary Shanghai GeneCore Biotechnologies and Macrogen of South Korea reportedly penned an agreement to jointly develop a SNP database. Celera is also reported to be a major investor in Asia Celera Biotechnology, a joint venture with Taiwan’s President Enterprises and Ho Tung Chemical.

Craig Venter, Celera’s president and chief scientific officer, is scheduled to speak at the University of Tokyo on Wednesday in a lecture titled “Human Genome Analysis and the Perspective of Post-Genome Life Sciences.”

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