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Hitachi Spending Big on Bioinformatics R&D, Licenses Proteomics Technology from Myriad

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TOKYO--Hitachi's new Life Sciences Group said it plans to invest 6 billion yen (about $56 million) in R&D over three years on technologies for genomic and proteomic analysis. The global electronics company, which entered a $26 million strategic alliance last week with the Salt Lake City company Myriad Genetics, said it plans to develop bioinformatics services for DNA analysis, database services, and functional analysis of genes and proteins.

Hitachi spokespeople did not return calls for comment last week, but a company press release stated that Hitachi expects to generate sales of 200 billion yen annually in the area by 2010.

Hitachi said that after a "thorough review of the US proteomics industry" it has licensed Myriad's high-throughput proteomic screening technology, ProNet.

Hitachi said it would establish a ProNet facility to expedite the discovery of novel protein-protein interactions. The company aims to help its Japanese customers investigate the biological networks of protein interactions and pathways involved in the progression of disease. Hitachi will pay Myriad an upfront licensing fee of $15 million and research funding totaling $11 million over three years. Myriad said the deal brings the total potential value of its ProNet deals to over $170 million.

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