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Incyte and Lexicon Enter Into Drug Discovery Deal; Share Databases

NEW YORK, June 28 - Incyte Genomics and Lexicon Genetics will partner to discover novel therapeutic proteins, share access to databases, and promote each other's products, the companies said Thursday.

Together, the two companies will select up to 250 proteins to study using Lexicon's mouse-based gene knockout technology. A committee of scientists from Incyte and Lexicon will choose proteins from human cells that are secreted through the cell membrane, such as cytokines and hormones, the companies said in a statement.

Incyte and Lexicon will share rights to the intellectual property that results from the collaboration, but the two companies will separately commercialize any products according to an undisclosed arrangement. However, each company with a successful product must make milestone payments and pay royalties to the partner.

The deal also calls for the two companies to trade access to each other's databases: Lexicon's LexVision database of mouse gene knockout experimental data, and Incyte's LifeSeq Gold, a database of full-length human genes and expressed sequence tags.

Finally, Incyte has agreed to co-promote and market Lexicon's LexVision database to major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. 

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

"By building upon Incyte's composition of matter patent rights with Lexicon's knowledge of in vivo gene function for the discovery of therapeutic utility, both companies are primed to build a significant pipeline of therapeutic protein products," said Arthur Sands, Lexicon's CEO, in a statement. "In addition, we are very enthusiastic about linking Incyte's industry leading LifeSeq Gold genomic database with LexVision and applying Incyte's world-class marketing resources to Lexicon's promotion of LexVision."  

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