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University of Michigan Appoints DNASTAR

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DNASTAR® has announced that it has been appointed by the University of Michigan as the exclusive provider of the award-winning I-TASSER structure prediction software to commercial entities worldwide. DNASTAR, which has had broad rights to distribute the I-TASSER software since 2012, will now be the sole authorized commercial distributor.

The I-TASSER algorithms developed at the University of Michigan by Dr. Yang Zhang and his team of scientists have won the biennial Critical Assessment of protein Structure Prediction (CASP) competition for the past ten years. As such, I-TASSER is recognized as the premier sequence-based protein structure prediction software globally.

DNASTAR rebranded I-TASSER as NovaFold™ and incorporated the I-TASSER algorithms into Protean 3D, which is the protein sequence, structure and bioinformatic analysis component of DNASTAR’s Lasergene software. NovaFold has been on the market since 2013.

Dr. Zhang commented, “We have been working with the DNASTAR team for the past three years. We appreciate and respect the way in which I-TASSER has been incorporated into an easy-to-use interface in Protean 3D and we plan to work closely with DNASTAR to continue to enhance I-TASSER and NovaFold in the future.”

Drew Bennett, Senior Technical Licensing Specialist for the University of Michigan, explained, “DNASTAR is an obvious partner for the University of Michigan to help meet the needs of pharmaceutical, biotech and other commercial organizations. DNASTAR has a 30-year history of successfully delivering outstanding software solutions to these organizations.”

Tom Schwei, Vice President and General Manager of DNASTAR, said, “We are honored by the confidence shown by the University of Michigan in entering into this arrangement. Our NovaFold development efforts will be supported in the next two years by two significant NIH grants. We are highly confident that NovaFold will be widely used in a broad range of applications in the commercial market and beyond.”