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With the recent news that the preliminary map of the Human Genetic Code has been completed, CRS Robotics Corporation (TSE:ROB), Burlington, Ontario, Canada, has announced that several members of the International Genomic research team were CRS customers.

Ralph Steedman, president and CEO noted that a good portion of the work was performed on CRS automated lab systems. He added, "And this is only the beginning given the fact that the Human Genome Project will open new opportunities to study how the 100,000 human genes actually function. CRS is ready for this scientific leap with the needed Functional Genomics systems. Several systems designed for this purpose are already installed at several research institutes."

Steedman added, "We are also gratified that some of the key players in The Human Genome Project chose CRS over other lab automation companies for a project of such scientific importance. Such a decision speaks volumes about CRS' application know how, software strength and overall system reliability "

The Human Genome Project (HGP), initiated in October of 1990 by the US Government's Department of Energy (DOE), is the most complex and far-reaching biological research project in human history. Not only do genes and their proteins cause inheritable diseases, but they also determine how we look, how well our body metabolizes food or fights infection, and sometimes even how we behave. In addition, some genes may become altered because of environmental factors, resulting in such maladies as heart disease, many cancers, and possibly some psychiatric disorders. For all of these genes, researchers want to determine how and why they change and what their altered proteins, produced by genes, do to the body. For most genes, there are as yet no clear answers until more is known about gene function.

DOE and its associated laboratory, The Joint Genome Institute who contributed to approximately 10% of the total genome sequenced, is CRS' largest genomic customer. In an International effort, the task to map the 3 billion gene base pairs that determine the draft human genetic code is complete. This is, however just the beginning and there is no doubt that Functional Genomics will be the next big research challenge. CRS may very well have the lead in supplying lab automation technology to this market with its broad genomic installed base.

In addition to DOE, CRS genomic customers include The Australian Genome Research Facility, The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), Canada's National Research Council and several leading biotechnology companies conducting genomic research. Steedman feels that CRS breadth of experience in DNA and Functional Genomic systems makes CRS unique in the International health sciences marketplace. A January 2000 Warburg Dillon Read report on Life Sciences states that the genomics market is one of the fastest growing markets in research. Revenues in 1999 accounted for $900 million with an estimated growth rate of 24.5%.

The revenues for 2003 are predicted to be $2.3 billion with a contribution of 40% from North America. With proven genomic systems already designed, CRS is anticipating a bright future as researchers enter the Functional Genomics era. In fact, CRS leads the way with having installed two fully automated systems for Functional Genomics. As with the initial gene-mapping task, lab automation is a prerequisite to conducting Functional Genomic research because of the sheer numbers of genes involved.

CRS has been acknowledged as one of the few companies on the forefront of laboratory automation technology. Core competencies of the company include integrated lab automation solutions using advanced software in biotechnology and pharmaceutical research applications marketed worldwide. In addition, CRS manufactures and supplies robotic systems for advanced manufacturing niche markets. CRS is headquartered in Burlington, Ontario and has subsidiaries in the United States and Europe.

For further information, visit or call 905/332-2000.
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Publication:Worldwide Biotech
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2000

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