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Lexicon Genetics Licenses Valentis GeneSwitch Technology

NEW YORK, August 1 – Lexicon Genetics has licensed Valentis' GeneSwitch gene regulation technology for use in its functional genomics research, the companies said on Wednesday.

Lexicon, based in The Woodlands, Texas, is the third company to license the technology from Valentis after GlaxoSmithKline and Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories signed similar deals earlier this year. 

The non-exclusive license, which only covers research, involves an up-front payment to Valentis and annual maintenance fees.

Further financial details were not disclosed.

The GeneSwitch technology controls the expression of a gene in transgenic animals and cell cultures with a trigger that turns the expression of the gene on or off.

“Our evaluation of the GeneSwitch gene regulation technology indicates that it will allow Lexicon to more precisely control when and where specific genes are activated, adding another tool to our integrated technology platform for gene function and drug target discovery,” Mark Logan, manager of business development at Lexicon, said in a statement.

Valentis, based in Burlingame, Calif., holds all rights to clinical gene therapy applications of GeneSwitch and is currently applying the technology to a regulated erythropoietin gene therapeutic. Clinical testing of the erythropoietin medicine is expected to begin next year.

Valentis also makes the technology freely available to academic researchers through a collaboration with Invitrogen.

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