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Myriad Genetics Chooses Sun to Provide Computing Power for Protein Mapping Venture

NEW YORK, June 26 - Myriad Genetics has chosen Sun Microsystems to provide the computing infrastructure for its protein mapping venture with Hitachi and Oracle, two sources close to the deal told GenomeWeb Tuesday.

Myriad had recently narrowed the field of computing power providers to Sun and Compaq, eliminating IBM, one source said, and would announce Sun as the winner next week. Bill Hockett, a spokesman with Myriad, said that he was not aware of any new developments in the proteomics project, and spokespeople from Sun, which has provided Myriad's servers in the past, were not immediately available to comment.

In April, Myriad said it had formed a joint project with Hitachi and Oracle to map out all the interactions between proteins found in the human body using a combined yeast two-hybrid and mass spectrometry approach. As part of the arrangement, Hitachi, Oracle, and Friedl Corporate Finance, an early investor in Myriad, would contribute $85 million in cash, and database hardware and software technology valued at $18 million. Myriad said it would contribute biotechnology valued at $82 million.

One source, who asked to remain unidentified, said that Myriad gave the bidders, which included IBM, Compaq, and Sun, less than one month to complete their proposals to provide computing power for analyzing and mining the data from the project. When Myriad eliminated IBM, the source added, the competition between Compaq and Sun quickly boiled down to price. 

Both Compaq and Sun offered significantly discounted bids, the source said, but Sun's estimated $3 million price tag for a high-performance computing platform, typically sold at higher margins, dramatically undercut Compaq's bid.

With reporting by Adrienne Burke

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