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Immunex Collaborates with Bioinformatics Co.

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SEATTLE--Immunex here and Digital Gene Technologies, La Jolla, Calif., have announced a five-year research collaboration using Total Gene expression Analysis (TOGA), Digital's proprietary bioinformatics platform, to investigate approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal system. Immunex paid Digital $3.5 million on signing and will provide an additional $3 million over the course of the agreement. Also, yearly payments of up to $6.5 million will be made to Digital as molecules are identified as research candidates.

"This program significantly enhances the discovery research programs already underway at Immunex in the field of gastrointestinal biology," stated Doug Williams, the company's senior vice-president and head of discovery research. TOGA is a method of identifying and determining the concentration of nearly all genes active in a sample cell or tissue. "We believe that the TOGA technology will allow us to rapidly identify relevant genes involved in inflammatory processes in the gastrointestinal system," he added.

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