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Japan s Yamanouchi to Double Genomics Spending - Reuters

NEW YORK, April 24 - Yamanouchi pharmaceuticals, Japan's third-largest drugmaker, plans to double its commitment to genomics over the next five years to 50 billion yen, or $411.8 million, Reuters reported from Tokyo on Tuesday.

The Tokyo-based company, which has invested four to five billion yen annually over the last few years, said it hopes to invest in genomics in order to find new drug targets and to catch up with US rivals, Reuters said.

"Unless we invest (in genomics) now, there would be no future for Yamanouchi 10 years from now," Reuters cited Toichi Takenaka, president of Yamanouchi, as saying.

These investments would not only include internal R&D efforts, but also external collaborations.

In June 2000, Yamanouchi partnered with GlaxoWellcome KK, Glaxo's Japanese
subsidiary, using microarray chips to discover disease-related genes in the
Japanese population.

The company also has been working since February 2000 on collaboration with the Hospital for Joint diseases at New York University Medical center focusing on identifying genes related to osteoarthritis.

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