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UPDATE: NetGenics Lands Contract to Build Schering s Company-wide Gene Database

NEW YORK, June 11 - NetGenics has been selected by Schering AG to build a corporate-wide gene database, the company announced on Monday.


The database will link worldwide R&D efforts for Berlin-based Schering by providing a single point of access to curated and annotated gene, sequence, and expression data, according to NetGenics.


The multiyear agreement includes licensing, support, and custom development, said Michael Bush, NetGenics director of sales. A final release of software is scheduled for the end of the year, with functionality being added past the release, said Bush.


Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.


The system will be custom built for Schering and will include technology from NetGenics Component Library and IBM's DiscoveryLink, which NetGenics is authorized to distribute as part of an agreement made with IBM in April.


"Schering AG has a unique set of needs and we're excited about working with them to help solve their specific problems," NetGenics vice president of solutions development Richard Resnick said in a statement. "This project represents an important development effort for NetGenics, as it allows us to bring our considerable software and scientific component-base to bear on a distinct customer need."


In January, NetGenics laid off 29 people, cutting its workforce by nearly 30 percent. The company attributed the layoffs to its stalled initial public offering. NetGenics CEO Manuel Glynias said at the time that the company had "enough cash for at least a year" and did not intend to raise more money privately.


In the past, NetGenics has seen deals or potential relationships with pharmaceutical companies fall through, having eventually lost a multi-million dollar project with American Home Products, a license renewal from Abbott Labs and a business lead with Pfizer.


NetGenics founder and CEO Manuel Glynias had told Bioinform that the AHP deal was too much for NetGenics to handle. "It was a mistake for us to try and do that big a deal," he said.


Bush sees the Schering deal as putting NetGenics on firmer footing: "The way we see it, the Discover Center and solution we built for Schering revolve around less support time because it is much more intuitive for the customer to do. The whole company is centered on the core project. [It] requires less customization and support [and it allows for] quick implementation. [It] is easy for customers to get up and running."


"[The Schering deal] is a very good anchor for us," added Bush.

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