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UPDATE: Celera to Offer Genzyme Database

This story has been updated from a previous version with comments from Celera.

NEW YORK, Sept 25 – Genzyme Molecular Oncology (Nasdaq: GZMO) said Monday it had licensed its gene expression database, SAGE, to Celera Genomics (NYSE: CRA) for distribution through the Celera Discovery System on a revenue sharing basis.

The SAGE database includes information on over 2.5 million gene sequences from cancerous and healthy tissues. Genzyme of Farmingham, Mass., will continue to provide Celera with additional SAGE data as the database expands.

Celera of Rockville, Md., appears to be addressing questions raised about the value of an expensive sequence database when access to public databases are free. The addition of the SAGE database is the third expansion to its Discovery System in two weeks.

Earlier this month Celera entered a similar licensing agreement for Proteome’s BioKnowledge human, worm, and yeast databases and launched a database including 2.4 million unique, proprietary SNPs.  

The addition of the SAGE database may add value to pharmaceutical company customer subscribers looking to link specific genes with specific tissues in various stages of cancer.

“In order to deliver the full gamut of information to life science researchers we are adding on additional modules,” James Peck, senior vice president of product development at Celera, told GenomeWeb.

Peck said that each database is available for an additional fee, but he declined to comment on the price for accessing the services.

“If our customers want them, they pay incrementally,” Peck said.

Subscribers to SAGE include Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), Bayer, Novartis Agricultural Discovery Institute, Affymetrix (Nasdaq: AFFX), NeuralSTEM, Curis (Nasdaq: CRIS), Memorec, Compugen (Nasdaq: CGEN), and upwards of 500 academic institutions.

Genzyme Molecular Oncology is also using the information it has amassed on major cancers and normal human tissue for its own drug development: cancer vaccines, tumor anti-angiogenesis, and cancer pathway inhibitors.

In afternoon trading, shares of Genzyme Molecular Oncology, a division of Genzyme (Nasdaq: GENZ), were up 1 5/16, or 11.2 percent, at 13.

  Celera’s stock was up 2 7/16, or 2.4 percent, at 102 1/2. 

 

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