CELERA: Three More Universities Subscribe
Days after striking a deal with Harvard University, Celera Genomics Corp. announced yesterday that three more universities have signed up for access privileges to its databases of the human genome, the Washington Post reports. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, University of Cincinnati and Ohio State University have signed on with Celera, joining subscribers at Harvard and Vanderbilt University and the nation of Australia. As many in the media predicted last month, these recent deals indicate that academic scientists feel "they can't live without Celera's services." However, academia's apparent acceptance of Celera's product contrasts with their attitude several months ago, when "academics expressed open hostility" to Celera while it was competing with the publicly funded Human Genome Project, in which several universities participated. But Celera has wooed universities by developing tools to help scientists more easily navigate their genetic data and making peace with Human Genome Project managers. Universities are not the only ones buying into Celera's databases -- several drug companies have hopped on Celera's bandwagon for fees as high as $15 million a year. Celera has not disclosed the financial details of its contracts with university clients, but it did estimate that revenues will amount to an additional $5,000 to $15,000 a year for each school given access to Celera's data. "We hope that every research institution becomes a subscriber," Paul Gilman, director of Celera's policy planning, said. Celera has become even more attractive since announcing plans to provide a complete genome of the laboratory mouse -- vital to biological research -- years ahead of the government. J. Craig Venter, Celera's president and chief scientific officer, claimed, "We're going to be the only place in the world to get the mouse genome, unless your mother is a mouse" (Gillis, 7/20).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.