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PPD Licenses Informax s Genomax Bioinformatics Platform

NEW YORK, Feb 28 - PPD Discovery, the drug discovery division of Wilmington, NC-based PPD, has agreed to license Informax's Genomax bioinformatics system for its functional genomics research, PPD said Wednesday.

PPD's functional genomics research focuses on isolating gene inhibitors involved in cellular processes. The company will use the Genomax system to manage, analyze, and mine gene expression and function data.

Genomax integrates UNIX, Oracle, and Java technologies for analysis of mass quantities of genomic data and target selection. It works in tandem with Vector NTI suite, Informax's desktop product for wet lab work.

"The modular structure of the Genomax bioinformatics system integrates well with our functional genomics platform," said Tanya Holzmayer, vice president of genomics at PPD Discovery, in a statement. "Applying this high-throughput system of genomic data analysis, we expect to further expedite our identification and validation of novel targets."

The companies did not disclose the financial details of the agreement.

Last week, Informax, based in Rockville, Md., added a database of human protein interactions to Genomax via an arrangement with AxCell Biosciences. Informax claims to have over 22,000 individual users of its software worldwide at 1,300 research organizations.

Informax has licensed Genomax to the Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research under a collaborative agreement wherein Whitehead scientists sit on Informax's board and provide input on the development of the software. It has also sold Genomax to over 20 other pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and academic customers, including DuPont, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Genzyme, and The University of Tokyo.