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Compugen and Sigma-Genosys Team Up to Offer Oligonucleotide Libraries

NEW YORK, June 25 - Compugen and Sigma-Aldrich subsidiary Sigma-Genosys have inked a deal to jointly design, manufacture, and market oligonucleotide libraries, the companies said Monday. 

The oligonucleotide libraries will include whole or partial sets of the human, mouse, and rat genomes. Customers will be able to access some sequence and other information about the oligos using Compugen's LabOnWeb portal.  

Compugen will contribute its oligonucleotide design algorithms, which it has previously used in microarray partnerships with Motorola and Pfizer, and Sigma-Genosys will use its technologies for synthesis of oligonucleotides to manufacture the product.  

Both companies will share revenue from the products, and Compugen has granted Sigma-Genosys a non-exclusive license to incorporate the libraries into its future products. The parties did not disclose further financial terms of the collaboration. 

"We expect oligonucleotide libraries to be a growing market, said Compugen CEO Eli Mintz. "We have seen quite a lot of interest from collaborators and initial customers." 

Compugen and Sigma-Genosys have organized the libraries based on the GeneOntology Consortium classification and terminology system. 

To design the libraries, Compugen has used its LEADS platform of proprietary algorithms. This platform enables Compugen's bioinformatics team to model different features of the genome such as chimeric sequences, intron contamination, and alternative splicing in order to predict protein coding, splice variants, as well as the alignment of ESTs to known mRNAs. Through using these algorithms, Compugen said it can select oligonucleotides that reflect all of the splice variants for a particular gene. 

"Combining Sigma-Genosys' expertise in making long oligos using the patented Abacus synthesis technology and Compugen's LEADS computational biology capability will provide tremendous benefit and reassurance to customers producing their own microarrays," David Julien, president of Sigma-Aldrich's biotechnology division, said in a statement. 

The first libraries will include known rat and mouse genes, and the next library will include transcripts of all splice variants in the human genome, Mintz said.

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