This story has been updated from an earlier version.
NEW YORK, Nov 8 – Rosetta Inpharmatics and Gemini Genomics, a population genetics company, announced Wednesday they would collaborate to identify and characterize genes and expression profiles associated with common diseases.
Gemini chose Rosetta because of Rosetta’s “unsurpassed” capabilities in gene expression informatics, Gemini CEO Paul Kelly said in a statement.
As part of this collaboration, Rosetta will develop software applications that incorporate both expression profiling and SNP analysis using the body of genetic data from broad populations that Gemini has collected, said Rosetta CEO Stephen Friend.
This informatics application will initially be used within the disease-expression project, along with Rosetta’s other existing software, but it also could be jointly commercialized.
“The goal of this collaboration is to look at the potential of integrating our expression profiling technology with the resources that have been developed by Gemini,” Friend told Genome Web.
Rosetta and Gemini plan to license the rights to their results to companies that want to develop gene-based drugs and diagnostic tools.
The two companies will separately fund their contributions to the project, but will jointly own any intellectual property that results from the collaboration.
The bulk of the work will take place at Rosetta’s Kirkland, WA, facility, where it is developing the capability to do large-scale expression profiling.
In addition to developing new applications for this project, Rosetta will also use its Resolve Expression Data Analysis System. The latest version of the system, 1.6, is capable of simultaneously analyzing over ten thousand expression profiling experiments from different sites. Its software includes a number of expression clustering algorithms that seek to determine whether unknown genes behave similarly to known disease-related genes.
Initial research will focus on RNA analysis to identify possible gene-disease associations. The companies plan to screen tens of thousands of genes, and conduct numerous protein expression profiles to help develop drug targets and diagnostic tools.
The collaboration will last through 2001 but could be extended further, according to Friend.