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NHGRI Grant to Help Geospiza, Southwest Improve Phrap

MIAMI, Sept. 12 – Data management software provider Geospiza of Seattle, Wash., said Tuesday that it has received a grant from the US National Human Genome Research Institute to fund its work on enhancing the Phrap DNA sequence assembly algorithm.

The company is collaborating with Southwest Parallel Software of Albuquerque, NM, on this project.

The award, called a Small Business Innovation Research grant, will be used to support the development of new versions of Phrap that will conduct incremental assemblies and have better memory management features. The size of the grant was not disclosed.

Geospiza and Southwest will also create specifications for an application programming interface (API) and an Extensible Markup Language data type description (XML-DTD) to enable Phrap to be more easily integrated with bioinformatics applications.

Southwest provides high-performance and high-throughput bioinformatics software solutions on general-purpose computer systems.

Geospiza sells its Finch-Suite of bioinformatics software components that manage data from DNA sequencing instruments.

Separately, Geospiza has entered into an agreement with the University of Washington that enables the company to develop and distribute RepeatMasker, a software application that identifies and removes repeated elements in DNA sequences.

The company also announced it has begun offering Finch-Suite as an Internet-based iFinch subscription service. Through iFinch, Geospiza's customers will have full access to the Finch-Server laboratory information management system.

Finch-Server provides tools to enter and manage sequencing requests, track information about sequencing instruments, automatically link chromatogram files to supporting data, and assemble sequence data from overlapping clones.

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