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TIGR, Advancis Pharmaceuticals to Study Gene Expression of Antibiotic-infected Microbes

NEW YORK, Sept. 25 – The Institute for Genomic Research has teamed with Advancis Pharmaceuticals to study the effect of certain antibiotic drug-delivery methods on the gene-expression profiles of microbes, Advancis said on Tuesday.

The study will initially involve comparing Advancis’ Pulsys system for delivering amoxicillin, a common antibiotic, with traditional dosing methods. TIGR will study how the two methods differ in their effect on the gene-expression profiles of Streptococcus pneumoniae , a bacterium that can cause potentially fatal meningitis and pneumonia.

In July, Rockville, Md.-based TIGR published a complete version of the S. pneumoniae  genome in the journal Science . Since then, the institute has developed DNA microarrays and other tools to determine which genes are expressed in S. pneumoniae cells, said Dennis Penn, senior director of business development at Advancis Pharmaceuticals.

Penn told GenomeWeb he hopes the results will help scientists at Advancis learn why its pulsed system for delivering antibiotics functions more effectively than traditional drug-delivery techniques.

“The immediate feedback is, 'Is there a difference [in gene expression at all]?'” he said. “If there is a discernible change in one or more genes, which one is significant or important for microbial survival?”

Advancis, based in Gaithersburg, Md., and TIGR have worked out a “traditional” licensing deal that will govern who controls specific elements of the intellectual property that may result from the collaboration, Penn added. “There are certain things that fall into our bailiwick,” he said, but declined to elaborate.

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