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454 Life Sciences and Roche NimbleGen Announce Collaboration with Eli Lilly and SeqWright

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454 Life Sciences, a Roche company, and Roche NimbleGen, both units of Roche Applied Science, have announced a collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company and SeqWright. The goal of this collaboration is to use genomic technologies to identify genetic variants possibly associated with various psychiatric diseases.

SeqWright will utilize NimbleGen Sequence Capture technology to selectively enrich approximately 40 megabases of the human genome, which will then be comprehensively sequenced using 454 Life Sciences’ Genome Sequencer FLX System.

By utilizing the most advanced genomic technologies, SeqWright has the ability to transform the drug discovery process by reducing the time and money necessary for researchers to identify potentially clinically informative genetic variations.

“Just a year ago, it would have been impossible to imagine how we could selectively sequence such a large portion of the human genome in such a fast and cost effective manner. Our goal at Lilly is to improve the outcomes of individual patients; increasing the speed at which we begin to understand the basis of disease is critical to improving those outcomes,” stated Brian Edmonds, Ph.D., Research Advisor, Global External Research and Development, Eli Lilly and Company.

“We are participating in this collaboration as a way to better examine the root causes of various psychiatric diseases. If this project delivers as expected, we hope to identify new biomarkers or novel drug targets for future development of medicines to treat an array of psychiatric illnesses.”

“SeqWright continues to invest in cutting edge technologies to help change how researchers can advance their understanding of human genetics. We have previously used the combination of NimbleGen capture arrays with the 454 Sequencing System in other areas with great success. The possibility to advance the scope of these technologies, from basic research applications to use in clinical research applications in the future, is showing enormous potential,” stated Fei Lu, M.D., CEO of SeqWright.

“As a CLIA certified facility, where we employ and evaluate these new research technologies, we are ready to help move the industry closer to the goal of personalized medicine in the future, where identifying genetic variations within the human genome in a fast and accurate method will be of paramount importance.”