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Incyte Licenses Gene Expression Database to Bristol-Myers Squibb

NEW YORK, Oct. 17 – Incyte genomics announced Tuesday it has licensed its LifeExpress gene expression database to Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Bristol-Myers Squibb is adding this new database service as it renews a previous multi-year subscription agreement to Incyte’s LifeSeq gold database of genomic information. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“As a company we have thought a lot about how we are going to do our science in a post-genomic world, said Wes Cosand, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Executive Director of Genome Technologies. “Clearly, the bottleneck is in target validation. And expression information is a very valuable tool in our toolbox of technologies we can use to address that bottleneck.”

LifeExpress integrates protein and gene expression data, using Incyte’s LifeSeq gold gene database as well as tissue information from a network of research institutions. It is designed to allow researchers to compare gene and protein behavior in both diseased and normal tissues, prioritize potential drug targets, and more quickly assess the efficacy and toxicity of compounds.

" The combination of LifeSeq Gold and LifeExpress gives researchers at Bristol-Myers Squibb the tools and information they need to pursue functional genomics ," Incyte CEO Roy A. Whitfield said in a statement. " We are pleased to continue our partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb."

Bristol-Myers Squibb will use LifeExpress to complement gene expression efforts it has conducted in its own facilities using Affymetrix technologies and cDNA microarrays.   “We see LifeExpress as being useful in helping put our internally generated data into the context of a larger data set that is quite comparable in technology,” Cosand said

The Princeton, N.J.-based pharmaceutical company, which does not subscribe to Celera's genomic database, chose to renew and augment its Incyte subscription because Incyte appeared to offer the most ”cost-effective” way to increase the speed of the company’s drug discovery pipeline, according to Cosand. But he did not rule out a future Bristol-Myers Squibb-Celera alliance or other genomics database partnerships.

“We are assembling a toolbox that will have a number of technologies that we can use to address the target validation issue,” Cosand said.

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