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Agencourt Bioscience Publishes Protein-Protein Interaction Map of Rickettsia Sibirica Virulence-Related Proteins.

Business Editors/Health/Medical Writers

BEVERLY, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 1, 2004

Utilization of High-Throughput Sequencing and Novel Bacterial

Two-Hybrid Technology Leads to Enhanced Understanding of Genome

Agencourt Bioscience Corporation, a provider of genomic services and nucleic acid purification products to the life sciences industry, today announced the publication of a genome-wide protein-protein interaction map of virulence-related genes in Rickettsia sibirica determined using a bacterial two-hybrid system. The work will be published in the March 2004 edition of Nucleic Acids Research (Nucl. Acids. Res. 2004 32: 1059-1064).

In 2002, Agencourt, in collaboration with researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta and the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, sequenced the Rickettsia sibirica genome in an unprecedented four days. Building on the data generated from the sequencing effort, a team of scientists at Agencourt led by Joel Malek used a high-throughput, bacterial two-hybrid system to conduct a proteome-wide screen in Rickettsia sibirica for a set of virulence-related proteins, demonstrating the capabilities of genome-wide protein-protein interaction mapping.

"While the bacterial two-hybrid technology has proven reliable for interactions of individual selected proteins, this is the first report describing the use of this technology to examine large-scale protein interaction mapping on the whole genome level," said Mr. Malek, Senior Manager of Genomics and Proteomics at Agencourt Bioscience Corporation. "This research demonstrates the utility of bacterial two-hybrid systems for large-scale protein mapping as an alternative to other protein mapping technologies."

"This technology is a significant advancement towards streamlining genomics and proteomics. A single shotgun library can be constructed and used effectively for both de novo genome sequencing and bacterial two-hybrid protein mapping," said Kevin McKernan, Co-Chief Scientific Officer at Agencourt. "Offering a bacterial two-hybrid service will provide researchers easier access to this powerful protein mapping technology."

Rickettsia sibirica is one of 16 Rickettsia species that are known to cause human disease in regions around the world. In the United States, infections with rickettsiae are known to cause diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, rickettsialpox and murine typhus.

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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Date:Mar 1, 2004
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