NEW YORK, Jan 23 – DoubleTwist has signed an agreement with Genomatix Software, in which Genomatix will integrate its gene promoter software into Doubletwist’s genome database and Doubletwist will exclusively distribute the combined product, the companies announced Tuesday.
The first-of-a-kind deal allows DoubleTwist to license Genomatix’s Promoter Resource Database for sale alone or with DoubleTwist’s Prophecy genome database and analysis package. Under the agreement, Genomatix will also have access to DoubleTwist’s annotated genome database.
While Genomatix would not disclose the size of the deal, spokesman Klaus May said the company also discussed sharing its data with Celera and Incyte, who have also developed annotated genome databases. But ultimately, Genomatix went with DoubleTwist, he said, because of its scientists, its “convincing concept,” and because it has “one of the best sales forces around.”
DoubleTwist’s human genome is available online or can be purchased for an internal network along with other data mining and viewing software.
Genomatix's promoter database, which it completed at the end of July, covers some 40,000 promoters across the genome. “We do not find every promoter--perhaps every second—but every one we find has a 90 percent probability of actually being a gene,” said May.
Promoters, or sites upstream from DNA coding sequences, show promise as more accurate markers of where genes begin and why they are expressed, said May. “When you use a promoter as a starting point for your algorithm,” May said, “your specificity [for identifying genes] goes up by orders of magnitude.”
DoubleTwist said it went with Genomatix because it is the only company to have precisely isolated human promoter sequences, according to DoubleTwist CEO John Couch. " By combining their promoter database with our Annotated Human Genome Database, we expect to further enhance scientists' ability to better understand the genome,” Couch said in a statement.