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UPDATE: Rosetta to Develop Liver Toxicity Database for Abbott Labs

NEW YORK, Nov 30 – Rosetta Inpharmatics will develop a database for Abbott Laboratories that will include gene expression profiles for compounds that produce toxic responses in animals and human liver systems, Rosetta announced Thursday.

The companies will jointly create the gene expression profiles of compounds chosen by Abbott using Rosetta’s Flexjet microarray platform and the Rosetta Resolver expression analysis tool.

" This a direct drill into an area we think is very important and that we are very well suited to work on,” said Rosetta CEO Stephen Friend.    The ultimate goal of the collaboration, Friend added, is to develop “models that will allow you to do risk assessment, not only in animals, but in clinical trials.”

Each company has said it would fund its own efforts in the collaboration, but neither disclosed further terms of the agreement.

By comparing the human and animal liver toxicity profiles, the companies hope to distinguish between the human and animal responses, and develop algorithms that researchers can use to predict human toxicity responses to compounds based on animal models.

Rosetta hopes the collaboration will help it build its technology for other collaborations, including technologies that allow researchers to use gene expression profiling to rapidly weed out potentially toxic drug candidates in the drug development process.

The partnership, said Friend, underscores the company’s core strategy of focusing on collaborations rather than just being a tool provider.

Rosetta has recently signed other gene expression profiling collaborations with Monsanto and Gemini Genomics, and has sold its Rosetta Resolver, which Agilent technologies distributes, to a number of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and academic customers.

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