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UPDATE: GeneFormatics Expands Capabilities Through NMR Acquisition; New Partnership Deal Expected

This story has been updated from a previous version.

NEW YORK, Jan 17 – GeneFormatics’ acquisition of Structure Function Genomics, a Princeton, NJ-based developer of tools to speed up nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, is part of the company’s strategy to gain access to all three leading proteomics technologies, GeneFormatics CEO and president said Wednesday.

“In the burgeoning field of structural proteomics, there are three key technologies – in silico biology, NMR, and X-ray crystallography,” John Chiplin told GenomeWeb. “To use one technology for all proteins is a little naïve.”

Chiplin said, that the deal would give GeneFormatics, which previously focused on developing an in silico approach to protein structure, a leg up in NMR. On Wednesday GeneFormatics of San Diego also said it signed a commercial license deal with Rutgers University for some NMR spectroscopy technology developed by Gaetano Montelione’s lab at Rutgers.

Montelione is a leader in NMR and a principal member of Structure Function Genomics. Rutgers will retain the right to license other NMR technology not licensed to GeneFormatics to other parties.

As a result of the acquisition and the licensing deal with Rutgers, GeneFormatics will be able to elucidate and validate protein function determinations in less time than current methods allow, the company said.

Financial terms of the acquisition and the licensing deal were not disclosed.

GeneFormatics of San Diego will now look to build its X-ray crystallography capabilities either through acquisitions or partnerships.

“Either you buy the cow or you buy the milk,” said Chiplin.

X-ray crystallography will enable GeneFormatics to determine the structure of the 20 percent of proteins that cannot be analyzed using an in silico or NMR approach, Chiplin added.

GeneFormatics, which has raised $15 million in venture capital, is expected to make an announcement about a new partnership later on Monday.

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