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ZymoGenetics to Gain Access to Lexicon's OmniBank Database

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THE WOODLANDS, Tex.--Lexi con Genetics here has announced a functional genomics research agreement with ZymoGe netics, the US healthcare research affiliate of the Danish company Novo Nordisk. The multiyear deal grants both ZymoGenetics and Novo Nordisk nonexclusive access to Lexicon's OmniBank gene sequence database, which corresponds to a library of novel mutant mouse embryonic stem cell clones, as well as allowing for the rapid generation of novel mouse mutants for use in ZymoGenetics' programs in gene functional analysis and drug discovery.

In return, Lexicon will receive annual access fees plus fees associated with the development of mutant mice, as well as royalties on products developed using its proprietary information and technology.

"Lexicon's technology, including the OmniBank database and mutant mice, will enhance ZymoGenetics' protein discovery and research efforts," said Claus Kuhl, Zymo Genetics' president.

"We are pleased that Zymo Genetics and Novo Nordisk will be the first pharmaceutical companies with access to the world's largest and fastest growing collection of genes with corresponding mammalian mutants," added Arthur Sands, Lexicon's president and CEO. "The power of the Omni Bank functional genomics platform is an ideal complement to Zymo Genetics' and Novo Nordisk's established leadership in the discovery and production of therapeutic proteins."

OmniBank currently contains over 12,000 embryonic stem cell clones and is growing at a rate of 1,000 clones per week, according to Lexicon, with more than half the gene sequences in the database representing genes that are unknown in public databases. Within three years, the company predicted, OmniBank will contain embryonic stem cell clones and sequence tags representing mutations in virtually all genes in the mouse genome.

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