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GeneFormatics Signs Asian Distribution Agreement with Takara Shuzo

NEW YORK, Jan 22 – Six days after announcing a major merger that expands its range of technology , GeneFormatics has signed an agreement with Takura Shuzo of Japan to exclusively distribute its protein structure and function determination technology in Asia, GeneFormatics announced Monday.

GeneFormatics determines protein structure using a combination of in silico and nuclear magnetic resonance methods.

Under the agreement, Takara Shuzo’s Biomedical group will market GeneFormatics products in Japan, China, South Korea, and Taiwan. Takara Shuzo has made an equity investment in GeneFormatics as well. The parties did not disclose further terms of the agreement.

Takura also has a partnership with Affymetrix to commercially market and manufacture Affymetrix’s DNA chips and chip analysis instruments in Japan.

" Takara's diversified business expertise ranging from the marketing of biomedical products in Asia to sophisticated genomic analysis serve to establish GeneFormatics as a leader in protein function determination globally," John Chiplin, CEO of GeneFormatics said in a statement. " We are looking forward to working with Takara to provide novel pharmaceutical targets to the drug discovery community in Asia."

This agreement comes on the heels of GeneFormatics’ acquisition of Princeton, NJ-based Structure Function Genomics , a developer of tools to speed up nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The company also licensed NMR spectroscopy technology from Rutgers University for technology developed by Gaetano Montelione, a principal member of Structure Function Genomics.

Geneformatics, which believes its combined NMR and in silico methods determine protein function faster than it could using a single method, earlier told GenomeWeb it is now seeking to increase its capabilities to do X-ray crystallography, the third method for determining protein structure.

Geneformatics could not be reached for comment on the agreement.

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