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MSI Earns NIH Grant to Develop New Advanced Bioinformatics Software


SAN DIEGO--Molecular Simulations (MSI) here has received a two-year, $750,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop an advanced biochemical modeling and analysis software program to simulate the three-dimensional structure and properties of a wide range of DNA and RNA systems. The grant will be used to pursue a joint effort with Molecular Engineering to develop a product known as the Nucleic Acid Workbench, which brings together both modeling and analysis tools for studying structure-function relationships in DNA and RNA.

The Nucleic Acid Workbench, which is expected to become commercially available next year, is being developed with MSI's Cerius2 computer-aided molecular design software. Molecular Engineering is a new research company focused on using molecular modeling and simulations in drug and polymer design.

Commenting on the NIH grant, Matthew Kalnik, MSI's director of partnering and collaborations, said, "With the ongoing advances in genomics, bioinformatics, directed molecular evolution, and antisense therapies, computer-aided molecular design applications for nucleic acids are in demand. The award of this Phase II grant accelerates MSI's ability to deliver extensive and accurate software tools tailored for the specific requirements of nucleic acid chemistry."

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