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Dallas Startup to Develop Genome Scanning Tool for Vaccine Discovery

NEW YORK, Feb 8 – Eliance Biotechnology of Dallas has gained exclusive rights to develop large-scale genetic screening technology from the Center for Biomedical Inventions at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, the university announced Thursday.

The technology, called Expression Library Immunization, is designed to screen bacterial and viral genomes for vaccines and other agents with potential immunological value.

This vaccine development technique “differs from conventional vaccine development approaches, which simply build on already existing knowledge,” Dennis Stone, UT Southwestern’s vice president for technology development, said in a statement. “ELI takes a step back and examines every possible antigen within any pathogen for its ability to provide immune protection against the pathogen.”

This technology can take advantage of a rapidly growing library of publicly available bacterial and viral genomes. In the past 10 years, 37 microbial genomes have been completely sequenced and published, and there are 128 microbial genome projects currently in process, according to Sandra Clifton, who just finished the Salmonella typhimurium sequence at the Genome Sequencing Center at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Clifton presented her findings at the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology conference in Marco Island, Fla. earlier this week.

Eliance, a start-up genomics company, has been funded by $2.5 million in private financing from Audax Ventures, BioAsia Partners, and StarTech Early Ventures.

UT Southwestern established its Center for Biomedical Inventions in 1998 as a way to facilitate commercialization of the university’s inventions within the Dallas metro area.

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