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Busy Days for Database Providers: Celera, GeneLogic,IncytePileonSubscribers

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Though some may question the long-term viability of the information-provider business model, the industry’s leading database vendors haven’t had much trouble finding new subscribers recently.

In the past few weeks, Celera Genomics added Genset, the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, the Karolinska Institutet, and the University of Tokyo to its subscriber list, bringing its total number of subscribers to 20. The journal Science reported that the company is also in negotiations with the National Institutes of Health for access to its database.

The current rate for an academic subscription to Celera’s Discovery System is $7,000 to $15,000 per user per year. Pharmaceutical companies pay $5 million to $15 million per year. A subscription offers access to Celera’s human sequence data, annotated human genome, mouse sequence data, human SNP database, GenBank, and other data sources.

The company just released an updated version of the CDS with an improved user interface and new computational tools.

Gene Logic recently signed IDEC Pharmaceuticals as a multi-year subscriber to its GeneExpress Oncology DataSuite, a subset of the company’s GeneExpress suite, and Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals signed on for the ToxExpress and BioExpress modules of the GeneExpress suite.Gene Logic, which now has 14 subscribers, also plans to launch a new database this year, PharmExpress, which will contain information on the effect that pharmaceuticals have on gene expression. Subscriptions to portions of the suite are also available.

Gene Logic’s subscriptions are typically for three years and can cost up to $4 million. GeneExpress comprises two modules: The BioExpress module, which contains gene expression measurements taken from normal tissues and diseased tissues; and the ToxExpress module, which contains gene expression profiles from organs affected by toxicity.

Two weeks ago, Incyte Genomics announced that it had signed Corning on to its LifeSeq Gold human gene sequence database and its ZooSeq animal database, while Agilent subscribed to the LifeSeq database as part of its license agreement for Incyte’s cDNA clone sets. Incyte has the clear lead in the database wars, with 27 corporate customers.

Incyte’s LifeSeq Gold database contains over 120,000 genes. The company claims that 60,000 of these genes are not available through any other database. Its ZooSeq database contains gene sequence information for animals used in preclinical studies of drug pharmacology and toxicology, while PathoSeq is a microbial gene sequence database. Incyte recently launched the LifeExpress RNA and LifeExpress Protein databases for gene expression data.

In the interest of tracking activity within this fast-moving sector, BioInform has compiled a table of current subscribers for the three leading database providers:

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