May 12, 2000

Vanderbilt first to use Celera Genomics’ data

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Dr. Harry Jacobson

Vanderbilt first to use Celera Genomics' data

Vanderbilt University has become the first academic institution to partner with Celera Genomics for access to the company's vast library of genomic data.

The information, previously available only to industrial subscribers, promises to advance the development of new therapeutic and diagnostic tools and to facilitate basic biomedical research.

Celera announced last month that it has completed the sequencing phase of one person's genome and expects to assemble the sequenced fragments into their proper order within six weeks.

The agreement between Vanderbilt University and Celera is designed to protect academic freedom, ensuring that Vanderbilt’s own inventions and discoveries can be used to advance patient care and treatment.

Under the agreement, Vanderbilt can: publish and present its research results; develop intellectual property based on its discoveries; use Celera information in filing or prosecuting patent applications and maintaining patents; and use Celera information in filing and maintaining regulatory applications and approvals.

Vanderbilt is the first academic medical center to sign such an agreement.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"We are extremely pleased to be at the leading edge of efforts to harness the potential of these data," said Dr. Harry R. Jacobson, vice chancellor for Health Affairs. "We believe this will be a powerful tool in the ongoing quest to expand our base of scientific knowledge and apply it to discovering new ways to combat illness."

J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., Celera's president and chief scientific officer, agrees.

"It is very fitting that our first academic database subscription is with a premier medical and research institution such as Vanderbilt. We firmly believe that researchers everywhere should have access to our genomic database information and now with the launch of our web-based science discovery system, we have made it easier to do so," Venter said.

Celera is an information company whose goal is to make the rising volumes of biological information more accessible and useful to researchers.

It is creating an unparalleled library of genomic information in databases, which include the human genome, genetic variations in the human genome, the mouse genome, and the recently completed Drosophila (fruit fly) genome.

The agreement provides a comprehensive subscription to Celera's database products. In conjunction with the agreement, Celera unveiled its Science Discovery System on the World Wide Web for academic and biotechnology users to access Celera's database information.

Celera's databases include both sequence information and annotation — the identification of genes and description of their functions. Subscribers are able to log into Celera's supercomputing facility, the third largest in the world, to access the databases and bioinformatics tools for viewing, browsing, and analyzing the genomic information.

“Vanderbilt’s basic science departments are routinely ranked in the top ten in the nation year after year. Through continuing investments like this acquisition of genomic data and tools, we think we can provide a foundation for even more rapid growth,” said Vanderbilt Chancellor Joe B. Wyatt.