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UPDATED: BioWisdom to Deliver Genomic Data Directly to Subscribers

This story has been updated with comments from DoubleTwist. The original story ran on March 13.

NEW YORK, March 15 – Genomics information provider BioWisdom of Cambridge, UK, said Tuesday it would launch in early April a new Internet-based genomics service that would feed information to subscribers based on their particular research interests.

“Users will be able to enter a gene target and then each day they will be alerted to any information in the public databases, proprietary databases, patent searches,” said Jessica Robertson, communications manager for BioWisdom.

Robertson said the service, which will be known as Discovery Portfolio, would initially be free to users, although users would have to pay to get more in-depth information from the proprietary databases. Based on this structure, users could gain access to relevant data located in proprietary databases without actually having to subscribe to the entire database. Robertson said she could not comment on whether or not there were indications that database companies such as Celera and Incyte would agree to such an arrangement.

BioWisdom hopes to make its money through revenue-sharing agreements with database companies. So far, Proteom, a company that provides information about peptides, and Merops-Pro, a protease database supplier, have signed licensing agreements with BioWisdom. Robertson said BioWisdom, which does not intend to generate its own proprietary data, was in talks with a number of other database companies.

Other companies such as DoubleTwist and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science also offer annotated biomedical information about the structure and function of human genes, but Robertson noted that neither of these companies actually delivers the information directly to subscribers. In response, DoubleTwist said that it has in fact been delivering e-mail with updated information relevant to users' sequences of interest since 1999.

"We send e-mail with links to comprehensive reports and notify users also by e-mail of updates relevant to their data," a DoubleTwist spokeswoman said.

BioWisdom has so far raised two million pounds ($2.9 million) in venture capital from MB Venture Capital Fund. The company has 18 employees.  

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