Lexicon Genetics Incorporated has announced that it has entered into a three- year contract to provide selected knockout mouse lines and related phenotypic data to the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH).
NIH will make these materials available to researchers at academic and other non-profit research institutions to accelerate the determination of gene function and the understanding of human disease.
NIH is obtaining these materials from Lexicon as a first step in its recently announced Knockout Mouse Project, which has a goal of obtaining a knockout for every gene.
Under the contract, NIH may select lines of knockout mice and related phenotypic data from among lines that Lexicon has elected to make available.
These materials are related to genes that have already been knocked out and analyzed by Lexicon.
Lexicon will receive payment from NIH of approximately $4.9 million for NIH's initial order of knockout mouse lines. Lexicon retains the sole right to provide these materials to commercial entities.
Lexicon owns or controls rights under 16 issued U.S. patents relating to technologies for the generation of knockout mice.
The NIH contract and the creation of the Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine are part of Lexicon's strategy to provide access to specific components of its genetic technology portfolio as it advances its drug discovery programs into clinical development.
“Since its founding in 1995, Lexicon's core premise has always been that knocking out the mouse genome is the key to understanding the functions of human genes,” said Brian P. Zambrowicz, Ph.D., executive vice president of research at Lexicon.
“NIH's recently announced Knockout Mouse Project demonstrates increasing consensus on the importance of this approach for scientific and medical research.”
“The scale of our knockout mouse generation and analysis capabilities and our strong intellectual property estate allow Lexicon to provide a means by which NIH can accelerate its basic research initiatives.”