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Incyte Releases Database of Genomic Information on Laboratory Animals

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PALO ALTO, Calif.--Incyte Pharmaceuticals here has released Version 1.0 of its ZooSeq animal gene sequence and expression database, the first commercial database to target genomic information for animals commonly used in preclinical studies of drug pharmacology and toxicology.

The initial version of ZooSeq, released last month, contained DNA sequence and expression data obtained from three whole-organ libraries of the Sprague-Dawley rat. Beginning in July, there will be monthly releases that add seven rat libraries per month to the package. Next year, the database will be expanded to include Drosophila data. According to Incyte, the addition of other key tissue samples and animal models, such as mice or dogs, will in part be driven by user preferences.

In addition to gene sequence data, ZooSeq contains what Incyte describes as "powerful bioanalysis tools for exploring the data and identifying genes of pharmaceutical interest." It was designed as a cost-effective means to help companies acquire genetic information to help design and evaluate drug studies in animals, Incyte said.

ZooSeq allows scientists to compare gene expression, structure, and function across species. It also includes sequence data from genes expressed in tissues not readily available in humans, such as early developmental tissues. ZooSeq was designed with the same look and feel as Incyte's flagship LifeSeq database. In the future, the ZooSeq program may be broadened to include opportunities in animal functional genomics. An early subscriber to the product is Pharmacia & Upjohn.

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