The SNP Consortium Reaches Agreement with Celera Genomics and Applied Biosystems To Construct Genome-Wide SNP Linkage Map
Data Should Facilitate Genetic Analysis
Rockville, MD and Chicago, IL - August 28, 2001
Applera Corporation and The SNP Consortium Ltd. today announced that The SNP Consortium has contracted with Applera’s Celera Genomics (NYSE: CRA) and Applied Biosystems (NYSE: ABI) Groups to provide data for a genome-wide SNP-based linkage map for genetic analysis. Comprising 2,000 SNPs selected from The SNP Consortium’s database, the map will be validated by Celera using the Applied Biosystems TaqMan® reagent system. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The SNP Consortium has selected the Laboratory of Computational Genetics in the Department of Genetics at Rutgers University to analyze the resulting data. The SNP linkage map is expected to be published by the end of this year.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs, are the most common type of genetic variation in the human genome. The SNP Consortium to date has identified and mapped more than 1.5 million SNPs, which are distributed throughout the genome. SNP-based linkage analysis is expected to add value to the Consortium’s database by providing information about the relative location of one SNP to another.
Availability of the human genome sequence has made it possible to determine the physical position and order along the chromosomes of SNPs identified by the Consortium. In the proposed SNP linkage map, the position and order of 2,000 SNPs will be determined by analyzing their inheritance through families, which results in a genetic SNP map. Such information can be useful in understanding the extent to which SNPs of interest travel together from one generation to the next.
As has been the practice for all data The SNP Consortium has generated, the SNP-based linkage map will be made freely available for use by medical researchers worldwide.
“The goal of The SNP Consortium is to make an important and reliable research tool rapidly and widely available," said Arthur Holden, chairman and chief executive officer of The SNP Consortium. "A genome-wide SNP linkage map will make navigation of the genome easier for researchers searching for disease-related or other genes of interest.”
"We are pleased to be working with The SNP Consortium to create a genome-wide SNP-based linkage map as it is an important step toward better understanding of human genetic variations and should allow for more rapid design of improved diagnostics and therapeutics," said J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., Celera's president and chief scientific officer. "We believe that the combined expertise represented in this agreement should enable advancements in research and medicine."
"Analysis of SNPs is expected to provide a rapid means of evaluating the presence and impact of these genetic variations,” said Michael W. Hunkapiller, Ph.D., president of Applied Biosystems. “This information can provide a valuable set of tools for new therapeutic discovery. The SNP genotyping assays will be validated to the standards set by The SNP Consortium, making these assay results widely useful in a variety of research settings. We are extremely pleased that the SNP Consortium, a multi-company pioneer in this field, has chosen Applied Biosystems' sequence detection systems, including the ABI PRISM® 7900HT Sequence Detection System, and TaqMan® probes and Celera's genotyping service business for this important project."
The SNP Consortium announced in April 1999, a two-year plan to construct a high-density and high-quality map of SNPs throughout the human genome. The SNP linkage map will provide additional information on the inheritance of genetic information which will improve the utility of SNPs for genetic research. The availability of the Consortium’s publicly accessible SNP database, together with information from SNP-based linkage analysis, should help medical researchers pinpoint genetic differences that predispose some but not others to diseases and the underlying variability in individual responses to treatment. In turn, this knowledge is expected to enhance understanding of disease processes and facilitate discovery, development and delivery of safer and more effective medications.
About The SNP Consortium
The SNP Consortium is organized as a non-profit entity whose goal is to create and make publicly available a high-quality SNP map of the human genome. The Consortium's members include the medical research charity, the Wellcome Trust; 10 pharmaceutical companies including AstraZeneca, Aventis Pharma, Bayer AG, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, F. Hoffmann-La Roche, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer Inc, Searle (now part of Pharmacia); and Motorola, Inc., IBM, and Amersham Pharmacia Biotech. Academic centers including the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, the Wellcome Trust's Sanger Centre, Stanford Human Genome Center, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, are involved in SNP identification and analysis. Orchid BioSciences performs third-party validation and quality control testing on SNPs identified through the Consortium's research.
About Celera Genomics, Applied Biosystems and Applera Corporation
Celera's genetic analysis discovery platforms provide discovery collaborators with a fully integrated suite of tools to enable the discovery of genotype-phenotype correlations that may be the basis for novel diagnostics and therapeutics. Celera's SNP reference database contains more than 3 million SNPs - including both Celera-generated SNPs and public SNPs - mapped in the genome to base-pair resolution. This extensive database provides candidate SNPs for both mapping studies and studies of specified gene targets. Celera's large facility of ABI PRISM® 3700 DNA Analyzers enables the rapid identification of a wide range of sequence variations in study populations. Celera's high throughput genotyping facility, employing the ABI PRISM® 7900HT Sequence Detection System, is capable of determining millions of genotypes per year for SNP validation and association studies with greater than 99% accuracy. And Celera's extensive bioinformatics and statistical genetics expertise allow customers and collaborators access to information and computational tools necessary for genetic analysis.
The ABI PRISM® 7900HT Sequence Detection System is an automated, real-time PCR instrument designed to perform gene expression quantitation and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) detection. The 7900HT Sequence Detection System uses the TaqMan® probe technology or “5’ nuclease assay,” known for its sensitivity and specificity.
Applera Corporation comprises two operating groups. The Celera Genomics Group, an integrated source of genomic and related medical information headquartered in Rockville, MD, is evolving to become a next generation diagnostic and therapeutic discovery business. Celera intends to leverage its industrialized approach to biology to develop platforms for enabling these new discoveries both for subscribers and for its own internal product development. 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), small molecules, and proteins to market scientific discoveries, leading to the development of new pharmaceuticals, and to conduct standardized testing.Applied Biosystems is headquartered in Foster City, CA, and reported sales of $1.6 billion during fiscal 2001. Celera Diagnostics has been established as a joint venture between Applied Biosystems and Celera Genomics. This new venture is focused on discovery, development and commercialization of novel diagnostic tests. 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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