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Celera Expands Gene Expression Offerings Through Database Partnership with Lynx

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Celera Genomics and Lynx Therapeutics have signed two agreements based on Lynx’s MPSS technology for gene expression analysis.

Under the first part of the multi-year agreement, Lynx’s gene expression data from normal human tissues will be integrated into the Celera Discovery System. The second part of the agreement involves additional gene expression analysis that Lynx of Hayward, Calif., will perform for Celera of Rockville, Md., to supplement the database offering.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The Lynx agreement follows on the licensing agreement Celera signed in September for Genzyme Molecular Oncology’s SAGE gene expression database.

“The Genzyme and Lynx collaborations are really the first two of many steps that we’re going to take to augment our currently available EST expression data,” said Tony Kerlavage, senior director of product strategy for Celera.

Kerlavage said that Celera would work with Lynx to adapt the bioinformatics tools it designed to analyze the SAGE data as well as expression data from the public domain.

“Today there are a number of ways you can query EST data within the CDS. Now we’re adding other types of expression data, so we’ve designed a series of new interfaces to query and analyze these expression tag data and to integrate them with many of the other types of data that are available on CDS, like genes, transcripts, ontologies, protein classifications, and so on,” Kerlavage said.

Celera intends to use the Lynx data as well as other data sources to create a body atlas that will enable users to visualize gene expression patterns across tissues and cell types. Kerlavage said the atlas would be accessible through various entry points in CDS.

“You’ll be able to come in through protein classification and then go to expression patterns or down through other types of ontologies or a specific gene and see its expression pattern as measured by a variety of different types of technologies, either ESTs, SAGE, Lynx MPSS, or even Affy type data,” Kerlavage said.

Celera expects pieces of the body atlas to roll out over the next year with more features to be added over time.

Kerlavage noted that the additional gene expression data types are key to Celera’s strategy for broadening the role of CDS in the drug development pipeline.

“These capabilities are really going to extend the utility of CDS beyond target identification … downstream to target prioritization and target validation by tying in the expression data and having it intimately linked back to the genomic data,” Kerlavage said.

— BT

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