SOLANO BEACH, Calif.—Kelaroo Inc., a developer of cheminformatics and bioinformatics applicationsand services for drug discovery, recently expanded its contract researchagreement with San Diego-based Amylin Pharmaceuticals. Moreover, Amylin made astrategic equity investment in Kelaroo for an undisclosed amount of money.
Kelaroo and Amylin have a strong history already, withAmylin having been one of Kelaroo's first customers after the informaticscompany launched in 2000. Also, Amylin's PHINDER system for peptide hormoneidentification and optimization has, since 2005, been based largely onKelaroo's proprietary SeqR technology, a sequence-profiling approach thatcombines machine learning methods and high-performance sequence analysistailored for genome-scale data mining and sequence optimization.
"Kelaroo's contributions to our research efforts have beensubstantial and we see the investment as reinforcing a valuable and productiverelationship," says Dr. Michael Hanley, vice president of discovery research atAmylin.
Greg Fond, Kelaroo's director of business development, saysthe Amylin investment is a Series A equity investment in Kelaroo for anon-controlling interest in the company.
"This is the first equity investment in Kelaroo, but we areconfident it will not be the last," he says. "The technology Kelaroo hasdeveloped has incredible potential and can provide early adopters withsignificant strategic advantages over their competition. We believe this willspawn a number of exclusive licensing deals and possible further equityinvestment from companies that want to secure this technology now."
With this investment, Kelaroo can accelerate thecommercialization of its KRMS and SeqR products, Fond reports. Specifically,the KRMS product is expanding into the hazardous materials management marketfor chemistry-intensive organizations, and will soon be offered as a hostedservice. In addition, Kelaroo is promoting SeqR feasibility studies to introducethe technology to prospective customers, particularly among biotherapeuticscompanies. Kelaroo plans to commercially launch SeqR during the first quarterof 2008.
"As SeqR matures, Amylin stands to benefit a great deal fromit and the resources Kelaroo provides to maintain its evolution," Fond says."Kelaroo's success is Amylin's success, and vice-versa."
"The development of this exciting technology is a result ofthe dedication and skill of Kelaroo scientists and programmers workingcollaboratively with Amylin to provide a revolutionary platform for mining ofgenomes and proteomes for sequences of interest," says Andrew Reum, presidentand CEO of Kelaroo. "I believe the promise of bioinformatics is embodied in theutility of this system. SeqR has tremendous potential for any company workingon peptides, proteins or biologicals. It is particularly satisfying thatAmylin, as one of our most loyal customers, will be a key beneficiary."