CELERA: Inks Deal with Australia for Gene Data
In the wake of its human genome mapping achievement, Celera Genomics Corp. announced that the company had secured a new client for its genetic databases -- Australia. The deal with Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council creates a standard mechanism, allowing any academic or not-for-profit research institution in the country to access Celera's genetic databases of the human, fruit fly and mouse genomes, the Washington Post reports. Although the Rockville, Md.-based firm did not release financial details, the Australian government will absorb the bulk of the costs. Experts predict a large majority of research institutions will take advantage of the offer and called the arrangement "particularly exciting" for Australian scientists. "Celera's technology is believed to be of the highest standard, and the agreement should allow rapid dissemination of crucial genetic information to publicly funded researchers," Warwick Anderson, chair of Australia's main research committee, said. Dr. Craig Venter, Celera's president and chief scientific officer, hopes that the deal will alleviate some investor concerns about the financial future of the company. "I haven't been fooling when I say we've had a lot of discussions going on with a lot of places. This is just the tip of the iceberg," he said (Gillis, 6/29).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.