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First Genetic Trust Selects IBM as Information Technology Partner


ARMONK, NY - 09 Oct 2000: IBM has been chosen to build the information technology infrastructure for First Genetic Trust, Inc., a new company that will offer online genetic "banking" services to individuals and support to healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies and medical researchers studying genes.

First Genetic Trust's services will include collecting, analyzing and maintaining genetic data for ongoing clinical trials for drug discovery; safeguarding DNA samples; and hosting an online portal for genetic information, education and counseling services.

As genetic medicine becomes more prevalent in the diagnosis and treatment of major diseases, First Genetic Trust will expand its services to include online genetic banking -- offering secure storage of customers' genetic profiles and distributing information, upon customer request, to doctors, healthcare providers, and others, for use in "personalizing" medical diagnosis and treatment.

Integral to these services will be information systems and a security architecture to protect patient confidentiality and ensure informed consent to any specific use of an individual's DNA. IBM will provide hardware, software and services to First Genetic Trust, including high-performance computing, database, and security technologies.

"IBM's alliance with First Genetic Trust is an opportunity to showcase the solutions and technologies that have earned us a leadership position in information technology," said Dr. Caroline Kovac, vice president, IBM Life Sciences. "First Genetic Trust's new services will help advance medical research, diagnosis and treatment, while protecting individual rights to confidentiality and controlled access to their genetic data. We are excited to play a part in this important effort."

As genetic research escalates, there will be an increasing need for donors to supply DNA. IBM's work with First Genetic Trust will address major issues facing DNA donors: concern over the security and privacy of their data.

"It is now understood that there are significant genetic components to disease susceptibility and response to treatment," said Arthur Holden, chairman and chief executive officer of First Genetic Trust. "However, to progress to an era of "personalized medicine," in which treatment is tailored to an individual's genetic profile, will require comprehensive and coordinated genetic information systems that are both conveniently accessed and highly secure."

About IBM

IBM created a Life Sciences business unit in August, pulling together the company's high-performance computing, e-business and data and storage management resources, and research expertise to offer new solutions for the
fast-growing life sciences market. IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. The fastest way to get more information about IBM Life Sciences is through the website, www-4.ibm.com/software/webservers/lifesciences/.

About First Genetic Trust

First Genetic Trust (www.firstgenetic.net) is headquartered in Chicago, and will establish its research and development facilities in northern New Jersey. The company's founders are leaders in the fields of pharmacogenomics, bioinformatics, and information systems technology.

Arthur Holden, chairman and chief executive officer of First GeneticTrust, has been chairman and chief executive officer of The SNP Consortium, a collaboration among a number of pharmaceutical and information technology companies, the world's largest medical research charity, and several leading academic centers to create a high-quality map of genetic markers known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (or SNPs).

Other cofounders of First Genetic Trust are David Wang, MD, PhD, who will serve as executive vice president, and Andrea Califano, PhD, who will serve as chief technology officer. Dr. Wang has been head of genomics and bioinformatics at Motorola, Inc., and previously was head of human genetics and genotyping at Bristol-Myers Squibb. He also is chairman of The SNP Consortium's Scientific Management Committee. Most recently, Dr. Califano was director of IBM's Computational Biology Center and manager of the structural/functional genomics group, as well as a member of The SNP Consortium's Scientific Management Committee.

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Contact(s) information

Theo Chisholm
IBM Corporation
(914) 766-1180
theoc@us.ibm.com

For First Genetic Trust:
Mary Prescott
312-397-6604
mprescott@bsmg.com

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