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Onyx, Livermore Lab to Collaborate on Proteome

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RICHMOND, Calif.--Onyx Pharmaceuticals and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will collaborate on developing a functional genomics system that can be used in expressing, purifying, and characterizing the components of the majority of proteins expressed in humans, known as the human proteome. Information gained on the human proteome will be used in determining the function of genes that encode the proteins, aiding in the understanding of the human genome.

Researchers from both institutions say the new system will facilitate the identification of therapeutic targets and reduce drug development time. They will initially work to develop a method for converting segments of genes, in the form of cDNA clones, into large numbers of purified proteins. Then they will develop a range of biochemical assays for functional characterization and drug discovery.

The Livermore Lab brings to the deal its position in the academic Integrated Molecular Analysis of Genomes and their Expression (IMAGE) Consortium, which has arrayed over 700,000 human cDNA clones. Over 80 percent of all sequences in public genetic sequence databases are ultimately derive from IMAGE cDNA clones. Onyx brings expertise in expressing proteins and in biochemical analysis of protein interaction and pathways.

The two-year collaboration is funded by the Biotechnology Strategic Targets for Alliances in Research (BioSTAR) project, designed to promote research
partnerships between state universities and businesses in California. Principal investigators are, from Onyx, Robin Clark and Anthony Davies; and from Livermore, Greg Lennon and Joanna Albala.

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