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Scripps Researchers to Develop Tripos Software

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ST. LOUIS, Mo.--Discovery research firm Tripos here announced a two-year consulting and collaboration agreement with researchers at The Scripps Research Institute, a private biomedical institute in La Jolla, Calif., who will develop bioinformatics software for identifying gene function for exclusive distribution by Tripos.

The deal is a renewal of the relationship between the two organizations, according to Tripos product manager of modeling and drug design, Kevin Kobald. Tripos will also provide staff support--the company has placed a post-doctoral candidate at Scripps--for research that will lead to functional genomics software products for improved protein sequence, structure, family, and function identification.

Scripps researchers Jeffrey Skolnick and Adam Godzik, will develop a range of new software technologies to produce Match Maker II software for 3D modeling of protein structures. According to Kobald, the new product will be more accurate and able to compare unknown sequences at a rate 1,000 times faster than Tripos's current homology modeling and analysis tool, MatchMaker I.

The software performs threading, a method of taking a sequence of amino acids representing a protein for which the structure is unknown and tries to find similar or identical sequences. By evaluating against the whole database you can score an unknown structure and get insight into the function of an unknown gene, Kobald explained.

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