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EraGen Wins $750,000 SBIR Grant to Develop Master Catalog Platform

NEW YORK, Aug. 2 - EraGen Biosciences on Thursday said that it has won a grant worth roughly $750,000 from the National Institutes of Health to develop its Master Catalog functional genomics software platform.  

According to the Madison, Wis.-based company, the Master Catalog combines data mining and analysis tools with a sequence library of 50,000 protein families. It is one of several platforms that EraGen markets in its Firebird system.

“What we want to do is to enhance the Master Catalog and take it to the next level,” Gary Alianell, COO of EraGen, told GenomeWeb, saying that the platform might one day be used for drug discovery and personalized medicine.

He added that he expects another SBIR grant “in the same ballpark” to be finalized in October.

As GenomeWeb reported in March, EraGen agreed with Genome Therapeutics to combine and co-market the Master Catalog platform with Genome Therapeutics' PathoGenome database of microbial genomic sequences. 

The PathoGenome database offers functionally annotated sequence information on more than 30 microbial pathogens, including Staphylococcus , Pseudomonas , Streptococcus , Enterococcus , Acinetobacter , Aspergillus , Bacteroides , Enterobacter , Klebsiella , and Candida  species, the company said. 

GenomeTherapeutics offers PathoGenome on a pay-per-use basis through Compugen's search engine The fee is based on the amount of information accessed per search.    

The database is also available by subscription, and its subscribers so far include Aventis, Bayer, bioMerieux, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Schering-Plough, GenomeTherapeutics said. 

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