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454 Life Sciences Initiates Collaborative Research Agreement with the Broad Institute

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454 Life Sciences Corporation, a majority-owned subsidiary of CuraGen Corporation, has announced the initiation of a collaborative research agreement with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, a research collaboration of the Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyHarvard University and its hospitals and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.

Under the collaboration, researchers at the Broad Institute will use 454 Life Sciences' system to conduct disease-related genomic studies in order to study the genetic basis for complex diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

454 Life Sciences has enabled its Genome Sequencer 20 System to perform "Ultra-deep Sequencing™" of specific genes of interest for use in the collaboration.

"We are excited about the potential of the 454 technology platform to have a significant impact on advancing our disease gene studies," said Chad Nusbaum, co-director of the Genome Sequencing and Analysis program at the Broad Institute.

"We hope this collaboration will lead not only to new insights into disease genomics, but also to the development of additional exciting applications for this promising technology."

454 Life Sciences' high throughput sequencing technology has initially been used for sequencing of whole genomes.

This application is designed to apply the technology's sensitivity and identification of linked mutations to in-depth studies of specific genes of medical interest.

"We are honored to have established this collaborative research relationship with the Broad Institute, which was also our first customer for the commercially available Genome Sequencer 20 System," stated Christopher K. McLeod, President and Chief Executive Officer of 454 Life Sciences.

"Under this agreement, Broad and 454 Life Sciences will collaborate to bring our instrument system into mainline, large scale, genomic projects at the Broad Institute, while working together to develop additional, novel uses of the technology for a broad range of important scientific inquiries which require ultra-deep sequencing of genes of interest."