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Viaken Opens New Division Aimed at Drug-Discovery Services

NEW YORK, Jan. 16 - Viaken Systems on Wednesday opened a new division it said will offer scientific-based methods to target drug discovery as an addition to its informatics technology products.


The unit, called the Viaken Discovery Research, will run with a staff of 20-15 of these were pulled from other areas of the company and five are new hires, said Keith Elliston, Viaken's CEO.


"This is a natural outgrowth" for the company, said Elliston. For "informatics as a service it is hard to generate an appropriate level of value. Value is what you can do with it. Just applying technology and tools doesn't help the customer get what he needs."


Led by Viaken's Chief Scientific Officer R. Richard L. Hamer, new division will offer customers methods to sift through data of large scale and comparative genomics, Elliston said. The unit also plans to offer informatics to find lead compounds and validate disease models. In addition to proprietary informatics, it plans also to "take the best of the public domain and apply it in the best ways to find the right result in customers' data," said Elliston.


The unit will seek collaborations with biotech and pharmaceutical companies in deals that would include IP and milestone payments for Viaken, said Elliston. The company's goal is to close six of these kinds of deals by the end of 2002.

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