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Agencourt Scientists Participate in the Genome Sequencing of the Brown Norway Rat; Agencourt in Collaboration with Other Major Sequencing Centers Publishes Paper in Nature.

Business Editors/Health/Medical Writers

BEVERLY, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 31, 2004

Agencourt Bioscience Corporation, a provider of genomic services and nucleic acid purification products to the life sciences industry, today announced the publication of the rat genome sequence in the April 1 issue of Nature. Agencourt scientists contributed to the whole genome sequencing effort on the medically important model organism, the brown Norway rat. This sequence represents a high-quality draft covering over 90 percent of the genome and provides a comprehensive analysis of genes and proteins and their relationship to human disease.

Library construction and genome sequencing efforts originally began at Genome Therapeutics Corporation and were transferred to Agencourt Bioscience upon its acquisition of the GenomeVision(TM) Services division of Genome Therapeutics. Upon moving to Agencourt, the work on the rat genome continued with the sequencing of the Rat Y chromosome. In addition to Agencourt, the other major sequencing centers include the Baylor College of Medicine and Celera Genomics Group of Applera Corp. Additional contributors to the manuscript focused on BAC library production, fingerprinting, end sequencing, and genome analysis and annotation.

"Sequencing of the third complete mammalian genome is a major accomplishment for both our team and the other contributors. We are pleased that this important analysis of the rat genome will be available to researchers to advance understanding of human disease," said Douglas Smith, Ph.D., Principal Investigator and Director of Grants and Contracts at Agencourt. "Agencourt is now applying the experience we gained in sequencing portions of the human and rat genomes towards the sequencing of genomes of biomedically important organisms as part of the NHGRI Large-Scale Sequencing network."

About NHGRI

NHGRI is one of 27 institutes and centers at the National Institutes of Heath, which is an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services. NHGRI's Division of Extramural Research supports grants for research, and for training and career development at sites nationwide.

About Agencourt Bioscience Corporation

Agencourt Bioscience Corporation is a provider of genomic services and nucleic acid purification products that help biotech and pharmaceutical companies improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their drug development pipelines. Agencourt's Discovery Solutions(TM) suite of genomic and functional genomic services includes high-throughput sequencing, SAGE(TM) sequencing, library construction and SNP discovery. The company's purification products and services are based on the proven and patented Solid Phase Reversible Immobilization (SPRI(TM)) technology, which has been adopted by several of the largest genome research facilities, resulting in more base pairs contributed to GenBank than any other nucleic acid purification technology and used to sequence over one-third of the human genome. Agencourt was recently the sole commercial sequencing provider to be designated by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) as one of five Large-Scale Sequencing Centers. The company has also been confirmed to be operating in compliance with the requirements of the Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) as a contract analytical laboratory. Agencourt is located in Beverly, Massachusetts and is available on the Web at www.agencourt.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 31, 2004
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