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Wyeth-Ayerst Extends Osteoporosis Genomics Research With Genome Therapeutics

NEW YORK, July 16 - Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories has extended its genomics research collaboration with Genome Therapeutics for at least an additional 18 months, Genome Therapeutics said Monday. 

The joint research project, to develop osteoporosis treatments using targets found by characterizing a gene associated with high bone mass, will now continue until at least December 2002. Genome Therapeutics recently received a milestone payment from Wyeth-Ayerst for its research progress, the company said.

When the two companies began collaborating in 1999, Wyeth-Ayerst paid Genome Therapeutics an up-front license fee. In addition to milestone payments, Wyeth-Ayerst will also pay Genome Therapeutics royalties if it develops therapeutic products from the research. Genome Therapeutics said in a statement that the deal--if it continues to its full term--is valued at approximately $118 million.

Genome Therapeutics operates two business units, genomics services and biopharmaceuticals. In addition to Wyeth-Ayerst, the biopharmaceuticals division has collaborations with Schering Plough, AstraZeneca, bioMerieux, and a joint venture with ArQule.

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