Celera Genomics Awarded Grant From NIH to Sequence Rat Genome
Rockville, MD - February 28, 2001
Celera Genomics (NYSE: CRA), an Applera Corporation business, announced today it has been awarded a grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) to sequence the genome of the laboratory rat in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine. Genome Therapeutics Corporation (GTC, Waltham, MA), The Institute for Genomic Research (Rockville, MD), and the University of British Columbia will also participate in various aspects of this project. The goal of this collaboration is to sequence 4-fold coverage of the genome within two years.
The rat is a key experimental animal for many areas of biomedical research and is especially important for the pharmaceutical industry in understanding the potential toxicology of certain medications. A component of Celera’s business model is to provide researchers with the data and bioinformatics tools to compare genomes from various organisms (comparative genomics). The comparison of the mouse, Drosophila, human, rat and other model organisms genomes is expected to open many new avenues of research into the mechanisms of gene conservation and regulation, which could lead to a better understanding of gene function and disease mechanisms.
The rat genome is estimated to be 3 billion base pairs in size, similar to the size of the human genome.
“We are pleased to be collaborating on this NIH-funded project to sequence the rat genome,” said J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., Celera’s president and chief scientific officer. “We believe that by pooling our resources we can quickly unlock the mysteries of this important model organism which should aid researchers in their quest for a better understanding of basic human biology and health and thus to find improved cures and treatments for disease.”
Applera Corporation, formerly PE Corporation, comprises two operating groups. The Celera Genomics Group, headquartered in Rockville, MD, intends to be the definitive source of genomic and related medical information. Celera has developed three business units: the On-line Information Business, Discovery Sciences, and Discovery Services, all of which build upon Celera’s generation, integration, and analysis of biological information. Celera intends to enable therapeutic discoveries both through its own application of its scientific capabilities and in partnership with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. The Applied Biosystems Group (NYSE:ABI) develops and markets instrument-based systems, reagents, software, and contract services to the life science industry and research community. Customers use these tools to analyze nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) and proteins in order to make scientific discoveries, develop new pharmaceuticals, and conduct standardized testing. Applied Biosystems is headquartered in Foster City, CA, and reported sales of $1.4 billion during fiscal 2000. Information about Applera Corporation, including reports and other information filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, is available on the World Wide Web at www.applera.com, or by telephoning 800.762.6923.
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