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BIOINFORMATICS BRIEFS: Nov 26, 2001

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M&A

It’s official — Celera Genomics is now the proud owner of biopharmaceutical company Axys Pharmaceuticals. The transaction was finalized at a special meeting of Axys stockholders on November 16.

Michael Venuti, Axys’ senior vice president for research and development, will become the general manager of Celera’s South San Francisco operations and report to Celera president Craig Venter, while Paul Hastings, Axys’ president and chief executive officer, “has agreed to remain with Celera for a limited period” to help integrate the two companies, Celera said.

As a result of the acquisition, Axys stockholders will receive 0.1355 shares of Applera Corporation-Celera Genomics Group Common Stock for each share of Axys common stock held.

 

SOFTWARE/DATABASES

 In a conference call to discuss his company’s 2002 financial guidance, Gene Logic CEO Mark Gessler said the 1.4 release of the company’s GeneExpress software would occur during first half of the year. The software will support the new full-genome HGU 133 microarrays from Affymetrix “as well as additional algorithms,” Gessler said.

An additional “significant upgrade” for the software is expected in late 2002 or early 2003. The objective of that upgrade, Gessler said, “is to integrate other datasets into the overall platform.”

The company also plans to “more than double” its current content of “a bit more than 10,000 samples” over the course of 2002, Gessler said, and will add new data suites and further products culled from the GeneExpress suite.

Gene Logic expects over $65 million in revenue for 2002, 52 percent growth over its 2001 revenue.

 

Scientific publisher John Wiley & Sons has inked a deal with Celera Genomics to develop links between cited article references, abstracts, and full-text articles available on the Wiley InterScience online service and the Celera Discovery System.

Subscribers to both services will be able to move from genetic content in InterScience to gene entries in CDS and vice versa.

The deal is not Wiley’s first bioinformatics partnership. In April, it entered a strategic alliance with LabBook to make its scientific content available through LabBook’s Genomic XML Browser.

Patrick Kelly, vice president for business development in the scientific, medical, and technical publishing division at Wiley, said the publisher plans additional partnerships in bioinformatics and is also looking to develop its own in-house genomics and proteomics database capabilities.

“The plot is in the early stages, and we’d be partnering extensively with people who would provide resources,” said Kelly in an interview with BioInform’s sister publication, GenomeWeb.com.

 

PATENTS

The Genetics Institute of Cambridge, Mass., was awarded US Patent 6,321,163, “Method and apparatus for analyzing nucleic acid sequences,” on November 20. The patent describes a “modified discrete cosine transformation technique” for analyzing genomic sequence data.

Kimmen Sjolander has left her position as principal scientist of Celera Genomics’ “Panther” protein informatics group to join the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, Department of Bioengineering.

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