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Paradigm Completes Microarray for Rice Pathogen

NEW YORK, Aug. 20 – Paradigm Genetics has developed a microarray for the rice pathogen Magnaporthe grisea, the company said on Monday.

The chip, which was developed for Paradigm by Agilent Technologies, comprises a host of Magnaporthe gene sequences and positive and negative controls to help in data analysis, Paradigm said.

Data on the microarray will be incorporated into Paradigm’s existing database of fungal organisms, which may be used to help discover and develop products against fungi.

A Paradigm representative said that she could not disclose the price of the array, to which the company has proprietary rights.

“The new array is a dramatic improvement over our early generation chip,” Jeff Shuster, Paradigm’s director of microbial research, said in a statement. “It is an important milestone in our ongoing efforts to discover novel targets, characterize new fungicidal chemistries, and develop novel antifungal compounds.”

In July, Paradigm, based in Research Triangle Park, NC, announced that a functional genomics agreement it signed with Bayer to develop agricultural herbicides was extended for an additional five years. 

The collaboration, which began in 1998, could generate as much as $30 million in revenue, including milestone payments, for Paradigm. Under that deal, Paradigm will receive additional payment for any products that reach the market. 

The completion of the Magnaporthe grisea chip does not affect Paradigm's collaboration with Bayer, which strictly deals with herbicides. However, Ellen Corliss, a Paradigm spokeswoman, said that Paradigm is "in discussions" with a company to develop fungicide products.

She would not specify the name of the compnay with which Paradigm is in discussions, nor would she disclose when such a deal would be announced.

Paradigm also has ongoing research collaborations with Lion Bioscience to develop and market a new plant and fungal metabolic profiling database, and with Monsanto to identify gene targets associated with improved crop production and nutrition.

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