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IBM and GeneFormatics Partner to Accelerate Drug Discovery

Agreement puts information technology to work in determining protein function and structure

ARMONK, N.Y. & SAN DIEGO, Calif. - 18 Dec 2001: IBM and GeneFormatics, Inc. today announced an agreement that could pave the way for more efficient drug discovery.

Through the agreement, IBM becomes GeneFormatics' preferred information technology and services partner. IBM will provide a range of hardware and software products and services to support GeneFormatics' cutting-edge work in rapidly discovering the functions and structures of thousands of proteins, including hundreds of human proteins that may be associated with various diseases. IBM is also participating in GeneFormatics' third round of equity financing.

"Understanding proteins is key to the future of drug discovery, and GeneFormatics is on the cutting edge of proteomics research," said Caroline Kovac, Ph.D., general manager, IBM Life Sciences. "This agreement will enable GeneFormatics to expand its work, building on a rock-solid IT foundation that can easily manage the complexity and volume of proteomic data involved."

GeneFormatics is transforming structural proteomics by employing a unique and cost-effective "function first" approach to protein analysis. Using a combination of proprietary computational and experimental technologies, GeneFormatics' "function first" approach identifies the functions of proteins before using resource-intensive methods to determine the high-resolution structures. This integrated approach allows GeneFormatics to prioritize the proteins of greatest interest, generating valuable information, such as biochemical function, protein structure and identification of lead compounds to accelerate drug discovery.

"The relationship with IBM validates the significance of GeneFormatics' "function first" approach to proteomics research and will enable us to further develop and commercialize our technologies and products," said John Chiplin, Ph.D., chief executive officer of GeneFormatics. "IBM's IT infrastructure combined with GeneFormatics' engineering and scientific expertise will allow us to use and offer unique tools to help researchers identify and prioritize potential protein targets for new drugs."

IBM will assist GeneFormatics in building the information technology infrastructure necessary to support development efforts. The infrastructure will include a cluster of IBM eServer* xSeries* 330 systems running Linux**; IBM's Enterprise Storage Server* (code named "Shark"); and IBM DB2 Universal Database*. Future directions for the partnership include IBM's DiscoveryLink* data integration software. DiscoveryLink will allow researchers to easily integrate proteomic data, including amino-acid sequences, from a variety of sources, formats and file types into a 'virtual database'.

Contact(s) information

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

Navjot Rai
Mentus Inc.
(858) 455-5500, ext. 106
nrai@mentusonline.com

Melanie Marks
GeneFormatics, Inc.
(858) 882-5933
melaniemarks@geneformatics.com

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