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Genomica and PE Biosystems Team Up to Develop and Market Genotyping Software


BOULDER, Colo.--Genomica and PE Biosystems of Foster City, Calif., have entered into a product development and reseller agreement under which PE will sell a genotyping software analysis product developed by Genomica. Genomica LinkMapper will be distributed exclusively by PE Biosystems. LinkMapper version 1.0 will be available in July.


Kenneth Rubin, Genomica’s executive vice president of commercial development, called Link-Mapper, a “lite” version of the company’s enterprise genomics software product, Discovery Manager. LinkMapper is a subset of the genetic analysis component of Discovery Manager, he explained.


Genomica will gain access to PE’s global sales force, which will sell the product to organizations that buy PE’s genotyping systems and software, said Rubin. The deal also increases Genomica’s opportunities to sell Discovery Manager to clients who need more than what LinkMapper can offer.


Discovery Manager, which is used by AstraZeneca and Glaxo Wellcome, is being revised to incorporate LinkMapper in an enterprise system. According to Rubin, no release date has been set.


The companies said that integrating LinkMapper with PE’s genotyping systems and ABI Prism GeneMapper software will offer researchers a system for generating, managing, and analyzing geno-typing information.


GeneMapper examines data generated from the ABI Prism DNA Analyzers, Genetic Analyzers, and DNA Sequencers. The PE software analyzes trace files, identifies alleles, and stores data. LinkMapper reads the data, and checks its quality for further analysis. PE and Genomica software tools are designed to operate with Oracle databases, said Rubin.


“PE Biosystems provides the instrumentation and we provide the downstream analysis software to analyze that data as it comes off their instruments,” said Rubin.


LinkMapper, as well as other new products from Genomica, will be developed using the Java programming language and Oracle database software. The company’s current products are based on the Smalltalk language and an object-oriented database called Gemstone. According to Genomica’s market research, its clients and prospects prefer the Oracle database, which has been accepted as a de facto industry standard.


Robert Jones, vice president and general manager of PE Informatics, a division of PE Biosystems, said that the new agreement grew out of a relationship among Genomica, PE, and Oxagen of Abingdon, UK. Last August, the three companies established a collaborative agreement to develop software for high-throughput genotyping.


“We’re working with Oxagen through PE Informatics to automate all the data collection and analysis,” said Jones. “Oxagen uses Genomica’s Discovery Manager to take all of its genotypes and compare them to genetic maps and markers and to do large-scale association studies.”


PE Informatics software doesn’t consider Genomica a competitor, said Jones. There are no bioinfor-matics companies that solve every problem so it’s “not a situation where I view these other companies as competitors,” he said. “The race is to get a solution that is as complete as possible into a customer’s lab so they can do useful work.”


--Matthew Dougherty

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