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Genome Therapeutics to Sequence Genome of Undisclosed Pathogen for Wyeth-Lederle

NEW YORK, Feb 1 – Genome Therapeutics has agreed to sequence the genome of an undisclosed pathogenic organism for Wyeth-Lederle Vaccines, the companies said Thursday.

The name of the pathogen remains confidential under the agreement, and Wyeth-Lederle Research spokesman Doug Petkus would say only that the genome “will be useful for our discovery efforts.”

Genome Therapeutics, based in Waltham, Mass., maintains a database of more than 30 pathogens, including Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas, and Streptococcus species, that is available to the public on a pay-per-use basis through Compugen’s LabOnWeb.com. Last October, the company completed the sequence of Proteus mirabilis and Klebsiella pneumoniae , which are both implicated in urinary tract infections.

Petkus said the present agreement focuses only on obtaining the sequence of the genome, but that Wyeth might ask for additional annotations in the future. The contract does not set a time limit on the project, added Petkus.

Genome Therapeutics operates the GTC Sequencing Center, which offers genomics sequencing, cDNA and PCR sequencing, SNP detection and other specialized sequencing services. Some of the company's current customers include AstraZeneca, Aventis, and the Rat Genome Sequencing Network.

“We are pleased Wyeth-Lederle selected the GTC Sequencing Center for its genomic services needs and look forward to augmenting their research through this project,” said Steven Rauscher, Genome Therapeutics’ CEO in a statement.

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