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Variagenics to Perform Custom SNP detection for Boehringer

NEW YORK, Sept 21 – Variagenics (Nasdaq: VGNX) of Cambridge, Mass., said Thursday it had signed an agreement to discover single nucleotide polymorphisms for Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals.

Variagenics said in a statement that it would utilize its Impact Program to perform custom SNP discovery for an unnamed drug candidate in development at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim of Ingelheim, Germany.

The program aims to identify genetic markers that can help predict responses to the therapy. The information can then be used in drug development as well as in the development of a diagnostic test.

" We have worked with Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals to develop a list of candidate genes likely to influence response to their drug candidate. We are now initiating custom SNP discovery in these genes, to be followed by the development of assays to detect these SNPs,” Taylor Crouch, president and CEO of Variagenics, said in a statement.

Variagenic’s Impact Program is used to bridge the gap between gene discovery and drug development. Variagenics applies its tools to identify pathways analysis, gene expression profiling, loss of heterozygosity analysis, haplotype analysis, and molecular modeling.

The system also employs experimental methods to identify haplotypes that are associated with drug action.

Variagenics was up 5/16, or 1.5 percent, at 21 7/16 in late afternoon trading.

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