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Genaissance Pharmaceuticals Joins MSI s Functional Genomics Consortium

NEW YORK, Feb 16 – Genaissance Pharmaceuticals has joined the Molecular Simulations’ Functional Genomics consortium, MSI said Friday.

Membership in this consortium gives Genaissance access to MSIs AtlasBase collection of functionally annoted gene sequences from 23 organisms and software that allows it to search this database, said Sue Rodney, manager of investor relations at Pharmacopeia, MSI’s parent company.

Genaissance, which is using genomics for personalized medicine drug discovery, can use this database to characterize gene variations and understand SNP and haplotype function.

Hyseq, Cytoclonal Pharmaceuticals, and an unnamed Argentinian genomics company also belong to this consortium, which MSI launched in August of 2000 to deliver technology for protein function assignment and structural proteomics. 

MSI runs six other similar projects in combinatorial chemistry, formulations, polymers, catalysis, functional genomics, and molecular crystallization. Consortium membership is typically three years, and companies pay on average “a couple of hundred thousand dollars per year,” for membership, Rodney said.

According to MSI, these projects have been successful in developing technology and transferring it to industry. 

" Consortium members get the ability to guide and direct development of software, and MSI gets partially funded research and industry relevant guidance as to how the software should be developed,” said Rodney. “Consortium members ultimately get early access to the software, but MSI is going to commercialize it.”

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