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{bio,medical} informatics

Wednesday, May 30, 2001

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find related articles. powered by google. Quicken.Com IBM, Others Are Financing A Public Database on Proteins
"A not-for-profit company being launched today, with backing from IBM and others, hopes to become the repository for a coming wave of biological information. But unlike leading firms, such as Celera Genomics Group in the gene-sequencing area, it plans to give away its data, Tuesday's Wall Street Journal reported.

The new venture, called Blueprint Worldwide Inc., plans to create and maintain a vast public database of information about the proteins of humans and other organisms."

"The company won't be generating the data itself, but will be consolidating the wealth of public data scattered in various databases and publications. For example Blueprint plans to enter results from some 200,000 scientific papers into the database."

"The public database, which will be accessible through the Internet, could pose a threat to for-profit companies that are trying to sell similar data."
redux [03.10.01]
find related articles. powered by google. eCompany Future Boy: We've Mapped the Human Genome. Now What?
"With information on the genome now rapidly becoming available, the business models for companies that sell information about the genome, such as Celera and Incyte, may soon be outmoded. Biotech companies will then have to earn their stripes the old-fashioned way: by developing blockbuster drugs. Of course, proteomics companies could arise to sell information about proteins to other drug companies, but Strosberg thinks this is a flawed approach. Given his history, he should know. "Incyte's business model," he recalls, "was originally to be an information provider. That period is over. People will not pay as much for information as they used to because so much of it is now publicly available. Information is becoming a commodity." Instead of selling information about proteins, he is focusing Hybrigenics on using its proteomics information to develop drugs, either alone or in partnership with larger pharmaceutical companies."

redux [05.19.01]
find related articles. powered by google. GenomeWeb Survey Finds Only Half of Genome Database Users Aware of Free Resources
"It may seem surprising, considering the amount of publicity the Human Genome Project has garnered over the past year, but a recent Wellcome Trust survey indicates that only half of biomedical researchers using genome databases are familiar with the services provided by Ensembl and other freely available options.

Although the number of hits on the Ensembl website has doubled since the publication of the Human Genome Project’s findings in Nature in February, a questionnaire sent to 777 individuals funded by the Wellcome Trust found that only 82 used Ensembl regularly, 189 used it occasionally, and only 50 percent of those who used DNA databases regularly used Ensembl at all.

Even more surprising was the finding that of those who didn’t use Ensembl, 50 percent had never heard of it."

redux [05.09.01]
find related articles. powered by google. Sri Lanka Lakehouse Daily News WWW.Human Genome
"The Internet could turnout to become the equaliser in the brave new world of research into human genetics - up to a point.

Following a fierce dispute, the data on the reading of the human genetic code has been published on the Internet to make it accessible to scientists anywhere. The result has been a flood of research projects in the developing world into data that would otherwise not have been accessible."

"During the past couple of months, the public genome databases have ben used by scientists 160,000 times in India, 61,000 times in Mexico and about 50,000 times each in China and in Brazil. The data is being accessed daily by about 10,000 organisations around the world."
find related articles. powered by google. IEEE Spectrum Open-Source Biology And Its Impact on Industry
" The toolbox of biochemistry, the parts list--"the kernel," to stretch the software analogy--is shared by all organisms on the planet. In general, organisms differ from one another because of their order of gene expression or because of relatively subtle perturbations to protein structures common to all forms of terrestrial life. That is, innovation in the natural world in some sense has always followed the idea of a service and flow economy. If the environment is static, only when an organism figures out how to use the old toolbox to provide itself, or another organism, with a new service is advantage conferred.

The analogy to future industrial applications of biology is clear: When molecular biologists figure out the kernel of biology, innovation by humans will consist of tweaking the parts to provide new services. Because of the sheer amount of information, it is unlikely that a single corporate entity could maintain a monopoly on the kernel. Eventually, as design tasks increase in number and sophistication, corporations will have to share techniques and this information will inevitably spread widely, reaching all levels of technical ability--the currency of the day will be innovation and design. As with every other technology developed by humans, biological technology will be broadly disseminated."

Technology based on intentional, open-source biology is on its way, whether we like it or not, and the opportunity it represents will just begin to emerge in the next 50 years."
redux [06.29.00]
find related articles. powered by google. Forbes Celera's Worth Still Up In The Air
"Great discoveries do not necessarily make great businesses. Businesses have to sell something. Celera Genomics doesn't sell or make anything tangible. It hawks service and information. It sells access to lists of genes and computers that can sort through those messy lists. Samuel Broder, the company's executive vice president and chief medical officer, makes Celera sound like some kind of consulting company, or perhaps a library."

"In a market filled with companies that acquire knowledge and then use it to produce chemicals and drugs with immediate importance, Celera is charging an arm and a leg for a library with really nifty computers.

But the Human Genome Project, like the public library, is offering similar services for free. Certainly, its computers are less nifty. But it has a relatively good draft of the genome. A lot of companies and universities may pay for Celera's cleaner, clearer books, its faster computers, and its richer catalogs of where the genes are and what they do. But this all seems speculative. It would certainly be nice if they had an exclusive human genome to sell."

"Venter's quest could be a fable, with all sorts of morals about the power of capitalism and the importance of a single, brilliant, willful individual who used the market to shake the ivory towers of science. But those morals only hold if Celera succeeds, if business and science blend to propel the company into the future with breathtaking speed without rocketing it into the realities of the marketplace. Celera could become one of the great business success stories. It could also be a financial train wreck."

Right now, that makes it a very volatile stock."

redux [01.11.01]
find related articles. powered by google. Fool.Com Do Biotech Data Deals Mean Real Money?
"Biotech deals announced in the last few days highlight the hottest debate in the biotech world: If and how bioinformatics companies -- the likes of Gene Logic (Nasdaq: GLGC), Incyte Genomics (Nasdaq: INCY), and Celera Genomics (NYSE: CRA) -- can sustain long-term business success. Can they sell their information alone, obtain future milestone payments and royalties on drugs or diagnostics produced from their data, or must they become drug development companies themselves?"
find related articles. powered by google. Fool.Com: Message Boards Re: Are royalties the key?
"Currently, big pharma subscribers are paying several million dollars per year, for several years, on a non-exclusive basis. Now if we assume you are correct in that unvalidated targets are worth MUCH less than validated targets (and I'm correct in assuming that first generation genomics targets are evn more likely to be "low margin") then, considering the time it will take to bring an unvalidated target to market, Celera is ripping these guys off (well, that's a little extreme). There's absolutely no guarantee any of this data will yield blockbuster drugs and yet they can charge tens of millions of dollars for it on a non-exclusive basis. Why does pharma buy it? Because several million a year is pocket change for a lot of these companies. Why risk missing out? Suckers.;-)

I realize I'm taking an extreme stance, but it's only to make a point: Celera is making a lot of money from their subscribers. The big question is can they continue to sign companies up at a rate sufficient to fund expansion of an internal drug discovery platform. Here we may have a problem. The subscription rate has been, for most of us, disappointing. Either Celera is going to have to start validating targets (or annotating or value-adding) to attract more customers, or they are going to have to enter into significant collaborations. I think they're going to do both."
find related articles. powered by google. Tallahassee Democrat Genome pioneer shifts to drug discovery
""This is the next phase for us," said Celera president J. Craig Venter, surrounded by the protein sequencers. "This is equipment that didn't exist before - it's not cutting-edge, it's bleeding-edge technology."

It was Celera's radical approach to biology that put Venter and Celera in the spotlight as the company deciphered the human genetic code at breakneck speed.

Venter plans to use the same bold methods that made Celera a biotech maverick to challenge the pharmaceutical world.

Celera, which has until now focused on selling access to its gene database, is starting to read that genetic library for clues to finding new drugs and treatments - and license those discoveries to big drug companies for potentially huge royalties."

[ rhetoric ]

Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.


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