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Oak Ridge Lab Forms Functional Genomics Research Consortium

NEW YORK, Jan 11 – Gene Research Access Corporation, a nonprofit company formed to foster private sector research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has formed a functional genomics consortium with Abgenix and CJ America as its first two partners, the company announced Thursday.

The consortium will focus on developing improved mouse models and phenotyping techniques for drug development research. In the effort, researchers will aim to develop mouse models that can phenotypically approximate common human diseases. They plan to characterize the models in detail, so the best model for each particular disease can be identified.

" With the full complement of genes nearly in hand, improved animal models and phenotyping techniques will be critical to rapidly selecting new therapeutic targets for novel drug development,” Tom Sabourin, Executive Director of GENRAC, said in a statement. “Pooling of resources through GENRAC LLC will allow our member companies to address these opportunities more quickly than if they worked alone."

Several other companies have expressed interest in joining this consortium, and the consortium will decide on the addition of new members later in the year, GENRAC said.  

The GENRAC Board of Directors includes former executives of ORNL who have volunteered their time to establish the LLC.

GENRAC receives funding from the United States Department of Energy for technical, administrative, and legal expenses. It uses the facilities of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where a new laboratory for comparative and functional genomics is being constructed for completion in 2003.

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