Incyte to Barter IP for Drug Leads
Incyte CEO Paul Friedman said last week that the company is making progress in its plan to morph into a therapeutic drug discovery and development company.
In a conference call to discuss the company’s first-quarter 2002 earnings, Friedman said that Incyte opened its Newark, Del., chemistry lab ahead of schedule and hired 50 pharmaceutical researchers to man the facility.
Additionally, Friedman said the company intends to leverage its intellectual property holdings in order to jump-start its pipeline. While Friedman mentioned previously that the company intends to use its information assets “strategically” under his watch, he provided further details on what this means for the first time last week.
“The strength and breadth of Incyte’s intellectual property portfolio allows for significant revenue opportunity in licensing that could consist of up-front payments followed by royalties upon commercialization of a developed therapeutic product. To accelerate our discovery and development initiative we could, for example, trade an up-front milestone or other payments for a licensed lead compound or to more fully participate in the development efforts, yielding greater downstream value to Incyte,” he said.
Will Incyte’s partners be willing to barter leads for data? Friedman said he’s seen “unsolicited levels of interest” in alliances and collaborations from potential discovery and development partners. “There’s a belief that there is huge potential here in our genomic database, especially as we add functional annotation.”
Nonlinear Wins UK Development Grant for Proteomics Software
Nonlinear Dynamics of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, has won a £435,000 ($638,000) award from the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry to support development of its Progenera bioinformatics platform.
Progenera, a client/server-based database system to track and mine 2D gel data, is due for initial release in August 2002. The DTI award will enable the company to further develop the system over the next year and a half, said Nonlinear CEO Will Dracup.
Specifically, the company plans to modify the existing engine to run on a distributed computing architecture. Dracup said Nonlinear also plans to add support for mass spec and genomics data and ICAT. While “the jury’s still out” on whether ICAT technology will ever replace 2D gels as the separation approach of choice, Dracup said he sees the two technologies being used in conjunction in the future.
GeneData Snags Stanford As Customer for Expressionist System
GeneData Inc., the US subsidiary of Swiss bioinformatics company GeneData, has licensed its Expressionist enterprise microarray analysis system to the Stanford University School of Medicine, the company said last week.
The agreement is a significant win for GeneData, which has been trying to raise its profile in the US microarray community.
Eugene Yang, a researcher in Stanford’s division of cardiovascular medicine, said the lab considered other products, such as Rosetta’s Resolver, but went with Expressionist because of its lower price tag.
Yang said that most microarray data generated at Stanford is housed in the university’s microarray facility, but the cardiovascular lab wanted to store and control its own data, which required the enterprise system. Noting that his group uses the publicly available tools developed by Pat Brown and other Stanford-based microarray analysis pioneers, Yang said the commercial system “offers additional tools you can’t get from public software.”
MAGE Programming Jamboree Hits Seattle
The MGED working group will hold a programming jamboree at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle May 20-24 that will focus on the MAGE microarray data standard.
The first day of the meeting will be open to the public. Members of the microarray community will have the opportunity to learn about MAGE, the MAGE-ML markup language, MAGE-OM object model, and MAGEstk software toolkit.
The programming marathon will follow the seminar, and will focus on completing the Java, Perl, and C++ APIs for MAGEstk. Programmers will also work on improving the “persistence layer” that interfaces with the MAGE object to automatically generate a MAGE-compatible database schema.