Celera And Syrrx Announce Structural Proteomics Collaboration
High-throughput X-ray crystallography to accelerate small molecule drug discovery
Rockville, MD and San Diego, CA - December 12, 2001
Celera Genomics (NYSE: CRA), an Applera Corporation business, and privately-held Syrrx, Inc., of San Diego, CA, today announced the formation of a research collaboration to accelerate the discovery of novel small molecule drugs. Syrrx will apply its high-throughput technology platform to determine the three-dimensional structures of proteins identified by Celera as potential drug targets. Structural information about these protein targets is expected to complement the work done by Celera’s South San Francisco structural biology group, which has determined and published numerous, important protein structures over the past 10 years. This structural information will potentially result in the more efficient discovery of small molecule drugs to treat human diseases. Celera will make a series of R&D payments to Syrrx in connection with the collaboration. The specific financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Celera’s internal target discovery group in Rockville uses high-throughput mass spectrometry to compare proteins in normal and diseased cells to identify drug targets. Celera then uses other high-throughput technologies to determine which of these proteins are optimal drug targets. Celera’s South San Francisco group then uses structural biology, medicinal chemistry, and screening to design small molecule drugs capable of selectively inhibiting these proteins. Because knowing the “shape” of protein drug targets makes drug design more efficient, high-throughput structural information may make Celera’s drug discovery efforts more cost-effective and rapid.
The Syrrx “gene to structure” technology platform uses novel, proprietary tools that bypass historical bottlenecks in the classical protein structure determination process. Deployed in a streamlined, factory-like environment, Syrrx’s platform enables the determination of protein structures more reliably and economically than previously thought possible.
“As a leader in the structural proteomics field, Syrrx is an excellent collaborator to handle the potentially large number of divergent drug targets identified by Celera,” said Michael C. Venuti, PhD, Senior Vice President, Research and General Manager of Celera South San Francisco. “Celera may nominate numerous and diverse candidate drug targets in a given year, and we now have access to one of the most advanced industrial processes for structure determination available to enhance our already strong internal commitment to structure-based drug discovery.”
“We are pleased to be working with Celera to provide high-throughput structure determination technology to enable drug discovery,” said Wendell Wierenga, PhD, CEO of Syrrx. “We believe that our rational drug discovery expertise and high-throughput structure determination technologies will aid in the efficient conversion of Celera’s knowledge of the Human Genome sequence into a series of medical breakthroughs.”
Syrrx, Inc. (www.syrrx.com) is a science and technology-driven company committed to redefining the way medicine is discovered. Syrrx has a five-year technology development alliance with the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation, a three-year antibiotic discovery alliance with Cubist Pharmaceuticals, and has recently acquired certain small molecule assets from Onyx Pharmaceuticals for the development of medicines to fight cancer and inflammation. Based in San Diego, the company is the technology leader in the field of structural proteomics, the process of generating protein structures from genetic information. Syrrx leverages high-throughput structure determination with computational methods to discover new drugs. This process enables a unique "gene to drug" platform based on the ability to perform high-throughput rational drug discovery.
About Applera Corporation and Celera Genomics
Applera Corporation comprises two operating groups. The Celera Genomics Group, headquartered in Rockville, MD, is engaged principally in integrating advanced technologies to create therapeutic discovery and development capabilities for internal use and for its customers and collaborators. Celera’s businesses are its online information business and its therapeutics discovery business. The online information business is a leading provider of information based on the human genome and other biological and medical information. Through the therapeutic discovery business, Celera intends to leverage its genomic and proteomic capabilities to identify drug targets and diagnostic marker candidates, and to discover novel therapeutic candidates. 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. 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. Information about Celera is available on the World Wide Web at www.celera.com.
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking. These may be identified by the use of forward-looking words or phrases such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “should,” “planned,” “estimated,” and “potential,” among others. These forward-looking statements are based on Applera Corporation’s current expectations. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a “safe harbor” for such forward-looking statements. In order to comply with the terms of the safe harbor, Applera Corporation notes that a variety of factors could cause actual results and experience to differ materially from the anticipated results or other expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements. These factors include but are not limited to: (1) expected operating losses; (2) dependence on the continued assembly and annotation of the human and other genomes; (3) unproven use of genomics information to develop or commercialize products; (4) intense competition in the industry in which Celera Genomics operates; (5) dependence on customers in, and the risks that affect, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries; (6) dependence on the unique expertise of its scientific and management staff; (7) dependence on computer hardware, software, and Internet applications; (8) Celera Genomics’ need for access to biological materials; (9) disruptions which could be caused by rapid growth of the business; (10) lengthy and uncertain development cycle for therapeutic and diagnostic products, and Celera’s unproven ability to develop or commercialize such products; and (11) other factors that might be described from time to time in Applera Corporation’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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