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Incyte Genomics and Galapagos Genomics to Collaborate in Gene Function Studies

PALO ALTO, Calif., and MECHELEN, Belgium, Sep 10, 2001 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Incyte Genomics, Inc. (Nasdaq: INCY), the leading genomics information company and Galapagos Genomics NV, the Belgian functional genomics company, today announced that they have extended their functional genomics collaboration based on the LifeSeq(R) collection. The new agreement will focus on the functional characterization of newly discovered proteins involved in Incyte's therapeutic discovery and drug target validation programs. Financial terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.
In November 2000, Incyte and Galapagos entered into a development and commercialization collaboration of a recombinant adenoviral library designed for gene function discovery and validation purposes. The first phase of this collaboration, which included 1,500 carefully selected full-length genes from Incyte's LifeSeq Gold database, has been tested against several disease model cell lines resulting in several novel function "hits." Under the separate new agreement, Galapagos will construct a special custom adenoviral library harboring genes relevant to Incyte's in house drug target discovery and validation efforts. Incyte will undertake further functional validation studies using the collection of viruses produced by Galapagos.
"This new collaboration further demonstrates the quality and power of our functional genomics capabilities for rapid target identification and validation applications," said Onno van de Stolpe, Chief Executive Officer of Galapagos. "The expansion of our agreement with Incyte serves as a good indicator of the success the collaboration has enjoyed to date."
"We are very pleased with the progress of the current collaboration," said Roy A. Whitfield, Chief Executive Officer of Incyte. "The Galapagos' adenoviral technology has great value for drug target validation programs and the expansion of the collaboration toward our proprietary therapeutic programs is therefore a logical extension."
The use of adenovirus technology has been demonstrated to be particularly useful in the functional characterization of genes. Although there are other approaches to identify genes or gene products that are associated with a particular disease, they do not establish a causal relationship between gene and function. Recombinant adenoviral technology is a cost-effective method that directly associates human genes with phenotypic changes such as morphology, motility, proliferation, differentiation, signal transduction, enzyme and transport activity.
Galapagos Genomics is a privately held company headquartered in Mechelen, Belgium. The Company was established in 1999 as a joint venture between Crucell NV (Nasdaq: CRXL; Leiden, The Netherlands), and Tibotec-Virco NV (Mechelen, Belgium). The Company has built a functional genomics platform using arrayed adenoviruses containing human genes to identify drug targets and therapeutic genes. Galapagos technology is based on the patented PER.C6(TM) human cell line expression platform. Galapagos has an exclusive license to use PER.C6 for functional genomics applications. Its PhenoSelect libraries are in a format that enable high-throughput screening using cellular assays. The Company currently employs 65 people, including 18 PhD's, and occupies a 15,000 square foot research and production facility in Mechelen, with additional research laboratories in Leiden, The Netherlands. Galapagos' current partners include Bayer, Incyte Genomics, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, UCB Pharma, Organon (Akzo Nobel), Isotis, the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology, and the Netherlands Cancer Institute. For more information, visit Galapagos' web site at www.galapagosgenomics.com.
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