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Variagenics, GeneMatrix Strike Cancer-Based Pharmacogenomics Collaboration

NEW YORK, Dec. 20 — Variagenics, the Cambridge, Mass.-based pharmacogenomics firm, has launched a pharmacogenomics-based R&D collaboration with the Korean biotechnology company GeneMatrix.


The partnership is dedicated to developing new molecular diagnostic products to predict drug response in the treatment of colon and gastric cancer.


Under the agreement, GeneMatrix will have access to SNPs and haplotypes that Variagenics has identified. The company will also provide expertise in integrating patient DNA analysis into clinical trials.


In return, Variagenics will have access to GeneMatrix data from Asian populations, and plans to make an equity investment in the company. GeneMatrix will also purchase a Variagenics genotyping and haplotyping platform for use in clinical trials.


Financial details were not disclosed.


The companies anticipate that diagnostic products emerging from this collaboration will be marketable worldwide.


GeneMatrix is an early-stage biotech and drug-development company founded in December 2000 by former employees of a major Korean conglomerate, Cheil Jedang. Its current research program focuses on stroke in the Korean population.