CuraGen Corporation, an integrated genomics based drug discovery and development company, and Gemini Genomics plc, announced today the largest collaboration to date linking cSNPs (human genetic variations) and clinical information to identify and validate novel drug targets for use in the discovery and development of pharmaceutical and diagnostic products.
Specifically, CuraGen and Gemini scientists will work together throughout the renewable two-year collaboration to associate thousands of CuraGen’s human genetic variants with disease traits derived from Gemini’s database of clinical populations, in order to validate genes and genetic variants that contribute to the onset of complex diseases.
Complex diseases include devastating illnesses such as obesity and diabetes, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and psychiatric disorders.
CuraGen intends to apply this information to advance the development of drugs and to discover diagnostics for use in selecting and prescribing the most appropriate drugs to treat human diseases.
“By associating CuraGen’s cSNPs with Gemini’s unique database of detailed clinical information, scientists will gain tremendous insight into a patient’s susceptibility to disease.
These validated genes and genetic variants can then be utilized in the development of treatments tailored to meet an individual’s distinct medical needs,” stated Jonathan M. Rothberg, Ph.D., Founder, Chairman, and CEO of CuraGen Corporation.
CuraGen scientists are applying the Company’s proprietary functional genomics technologies to determine how genes, genetic variations, and proteins influence the onset of diseases in order to accelerate drug discovery and development.
“We are excited about the potential of these efforts to deliver high quality therapeutic targets and diagnostic markers in an accelerated time frame,” added Dr. Rothberg.
“Because Gemini focuses on human clinical information, we can establish medically relevant links between particular genes, or subsets of genes, and susceptibility to common human diseases.
We can subsequently identify points along key biochemical pathways at which a drug could be used to intervene by either blocking or amplifying a particular effect,” said Dr Paul Kelly, Gemini’s Chief Executive Officer.
“A key to unlocking the vast potential of the human genome sequencing and mapping effort is to combine advanced genomics technologies with high quality human, disease-relevant information.
This is precisely the rationale behind this ambitious collaborative venture.
We are especially pleased to be working with CuraGen’s scientists who have amassed vast amounts of information on potential drug targets and markers within biological pathways.
Our respective technologies are perfectly aligned to rapidly deliver high quality therapeutic and diagnostic targets.”
To date, CuraGen has compiled what is considered the largest database of protein-altering single nucleotide polymorphisms or cSNPs.
CuraGen‘s cSNP database contains greater than 120,000 human genetic variations derived from the coding regions of genes.
Genes encode proteins with instructions that direct cellular activity from conception to death.
By correlating the variations that are found within genes, with specific diseases, CuraGen scientists are able to identify the specific genes and variations in these genes that may contribute to the onset of disease.
Identifying disease genes, and discovering how their proteins function, are key steps in developing pharmaceuticals to intervene at these drug target sites.
Gemini is a unique genomics company focused on the discovery of novel gene based targets that offer maximum potential for the development of therapeutics or diagnostics by the pharmaceutical and health care industries.
CuraGen Corporation is advancing the discovery and development of pharmaceutical and life science products through the systematic application of genomics.