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Thomson Reuters acquires ‘GPS in pathway analysis’ GeneGo

Lloyd Dunlap
LONDON—Thomson Reuters has acquired GeneGo, theself-described "GPS in pathway analysis," which provides biology and diseaseinformation, analytics and decision-support solutions for pharmaceuticalresearch and development.
 
Effective immediately, GeneGo will become part of theHealthcare & Science business of Thomson Reuters.
 
Financial terms of thetransaction were not disclosed.
 
The acquisition enables Thomson Reuters to provide thepharmaceutical, biotechnology and academic research communities with solutionsbased on the underlying mechanism of disease and potential therapies. GeneGo'sscientific expertise and assets in biology-driven drug discovery complement theThomson Reuters life sciences portfolio that covers drug pipeline competitiveintelligence, patents and chemistry.
 
The two companies now serve many of thesame customers, says Jon Brett-Harris, executive vice president at Thomson Reuters.
 
"The goal is to design, discover and bring to market drugsthat will be especially helpful for specific cohorts of patients," Harris says.
 
Although a GeneGo spokesperson deferred to Thomson Reuterswithout comment, the company's website describes its mission in the followingterms: "At GeneGo, we believe that pathway analysis of inherently complexhigh-throughput biological and chemistry data must be based on a fundamentalunderstanding of human and mammalian biology. Over the last nine years, we have developeda unique approach of systems reconstruction for extracting invaluable knowledgefrom experimental articles and patents, structuring it in computer-readableform and storing in a semantically consistent database."
 
The derived data canthen be used for functional analysis by a series of cheminformatics andbioinformatics software tools.
 
"To accommodate the complex aspects of mammalianfunctionality—such as coordinated expression of multiple genes to bring about aprescribed function, gene alleles in form of SNPs and mutations, RNA splicevariants, protein isoforms, complexes and families—GeneGo has developed adatabase of novel architecture. The key aspect of its data schema is semanticconsistency between the entities from fields of study as different as humangenetics, medicinal chemistry, toxicity, systems biology and translationalmedicine. This consistency enables application of sophisticated analytical andsearch tools such as pathway analysis and data mining not available in publicdomain."
Brett-Harris says, "Thomson Reuters now providescomprehensive decision-support solutions to help researchers striving to bringmore effective medications to market. There is an increasing need for biologycontent, detailed disease insights and analytics to support R&Dproductivity and to enable a more personalized approach to medicine."
 
Harris notes that his company's healthcare and sciencebusiness totaled $830 million in 2009. GeneGo will be integrated into thescience space, which seeks to accelerate research and discovery among academic,pharmaceutical and biotechnology organizations.
 
"GeneGo is biology-driven and has a very strong domainunderstanding of diseases and the biology behind them," he says.
 
The San Diego-based company's capabilities include itsMetaBase systems biology knowledge base, its expertise in analytics, datamanagement and value-added services and its successful track record deployingdecision-support systems. The management and employees have all been givencontracts, and from GeneGo's perspective, it will be "very much business asusual," Harris states.
 
The company's founder, Tatiana Nikolskaya, will become chiefscientific officer of Thomson Reuters' science business.
 
Thomson Reuters, with 2009 revenue of $13 billion, is aleading source of information for businesses and professionals in thefinancial, legal, tax and accounting, healthcare and science and media markets.
 
With headquarters in New York and major operations in London and Eagan, Minn.,the company employs 55,000 people and operates in more than 100 countries. 
 
GeneGo and Agilent integrate bioinformatics technologies
 
ST. JOSEPH, Mich.—GeneGo Inc. also recently announced anagreement with Agilent Technologies Inc. to integrate Agilent's GeneSpringBioinformatics Solution with GeneGo's MetaCore. 
 
GeneSpring GX 11.5 introduces a multiomics microarray andmass spectrometry-based analysis suite to handle transcriptomics, genomics,metabolomics and proteomics data in one application.
 
GeneSpring GX 11.5includes a direct connection to the MetaCore pathway analysis engine thatallows users to seamlessly upload expression data analyzed in GeneSpring forpathway analysis in MetaCore. This connection is part of every expressionworkflow in GeneSpring, allowing automatic experiment creation and entityannotation in MetaCore. 
 
"This will allow our joint customers to seamlessly work with'omics data in the context of pathways," explains Julie Bryant, GeneGo's vicepresident of business development. "MetaCore can concurrently visualize multiple types of data and will beable to take advantage of this new functionality in GeneSpring which will bevery helpful to our joint customers."
 
Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.
 

Lloyd Dunlap

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