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Bioinformatics Company Launches Stem Cell Collaboration

Reuters, September 1, 2009

A leading manufacturer of bioinformatics software for systems biology and drug discovery, GeneGo announced today that it has launched a collaborative endeavor with global pharmaceutical companies and academic centers. Known as the MetaMiner Stem Cell Project, the 24-month-long collaboration has been designed to create a comprehensive knowledge base for the properties and characteristics of different types of stem cells. The knowledge base will then in turn be applied to experimental R&D for the therapeutic use of stem cells of various types.

According to Yuri Nikolsky, CEO of GeneGo, "We are really excited about this project. Although one of the hottest areas of life science, no systematic effort was done on methodical annotation of current experimental knowledge on stem cells, and we intend to fill this gap. Understanding the biology of embryonic, adult and neoplastic stem cells is key in both drug discovery and fundamental research in many fields from embryology and ontogenesis to cancer and diabetes."

Similarly, Julie Bryant, GeneGo's vice president of business development, adds, "We are very glad to be able to attract an excellent team of members for the cause. An industry-academia consortium model fits well with our development objectives in such a complex and controversial field. We believe that the members will see a strong positive return on their investment within several months from the project's launch."

As described on their website, GeneGo provides "data mining and analysis solutions in systems biology". The company is focused on the development of "systems biology technology, such as compound-based pathway analysis, cheminformatics and bioinformatics software for life science research. The original computational MetaDiscovery platform allows an integration and expert analysis of different kinds of experimental data (mRNA expression, proteomics, metabolomics, microRNA assays and other phenotypic data) and relevant bioactive chemistry (metabolites, drugs, other xenobiotics) within the framework of curated biological pathways and networks. GeneGo's flagship product, MetaCore 5.4, assists pharmaceutical scientists in the areas of target selection and validation, data mining in biology, identification of biomarkers for disease states and toxicology. The second product, MetaDrug 5.4, is designed for prediction of human metabolism, toxicity and biological effects for novel small molecule compounds. MetaBase represents the knowledge base for MetaCore."

Founded in 2000 by Dr. Tatiana Nikolskaya, a molecular biologist from the University of Chicago, GeneGo is headquartered in St. Joseph, Michigan, with offices in San Diego and Moscow.



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