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454 Life Sciences and Roche NimbleGen Announce Collaboration with Eli Lilly and SeqWright to Sequence Genomic Regions Associated with Psychiatric Disease

(PresseBox) (Branford, CT, USA, ) 454 Life Sciences, a Roche company, and Roche NimbleGen, both units of Roche Applied Science, have announced a collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company and SeqWright, a world-wide leader in custom genomic and molecular biology services. The goal of this collaboration is to use leading edge genomic technologies to identify genetic variants possibly associated with various psychiatric diseases. SeqWright will utilize NimbleGen Sequence Capture technology to selectively enrich approximately 40 megabases of the human genome, which will then be comprehensively sequenced using 454 Life Sciences' Genome Sequencer FLX System.

By utilizing the most advanced genomic technologies, SeqWright has the ability to transform the drug discovery process by reducing the time and money necessary for researchers to identify potentially clinically informative genetic variations.

"Just a year ago, it would have been impossible to imagine how we could selectively sequence such a large portion of the human genome in such a fast and cost effective manner. Our goal at Lilly is to improve the outcomes of individual patients; increasing the speed at which we begin to understand the basis of disease is critical to improving those outcomes," stated Brian Edmonds, Ph.D., Research Advisor, Global External Research and Development, Eli Lilly and Company. "We are participating in this collaboration as a way to better examine the root causes of various psychiatric diseases. If this project delivers as expected, we hope to identify new biomarkers or novel drug targets for future development of medicines to treat an array of psychiatric illnesses."

"SeqWright continues to invest in cutting edge technologies to help change how researchers can advance their understanding of human genetics. We have previously used the combination of NimbleGen capture arrays with the 454 Sequencing System in other areas with great success. The possibility to advance the scope of these technologies, from basic research applications to use in clinical research applications in the future, is showing enormous potential ," stated Fei Lu, M.D., CEO of SeqWright. "As a CLIA certified facility, where we employ and evaluate these new research technologies, we are ready to help move the industry closer to the goal of personalized medicine in the future, where identifying genetic variations within the human genome in a fast and accurate method will be of paramount importance."

Technology Background

Roche NimbleGen is a leading innovator, manufacturer, and supplier of a proprietary suite of DNA microarrays, consumables, instruments, and services. Roche NimbleGen uniquely produces high-density arrays of long oligo probes that provide greater information content and higher data quality necessary for studying the full diversity of genomic and epigenomic variation. The improved performance is made possible by Roche NimbleGen's proprietary Maskless Array Synthesis (MAS) technology, which uses digital light processing, and rapid, high-yield photochemistry to synthesize long oligo, high-density DNA microarrays with extreme flexibility. For more information about Roche NimbleGen, please visit the company's website at www.nimblegen.com

454 Life Sciences, a center of excellence of Roche Applied Science, develops and commercializes the innovative 454 Sequencing system for ultra-high-throughput DNA sequencing. Specific applications include de novo sequencing and re-sequencing of genomes, metagenomics, RNA analysis, and targeted sequencing of DNA regions of interest. The hallmarks of the 454 Sequencing system are its simple, unbiased sample preparation and long, highly accurate sequence reads, including paired-end reads. The technology of the 454 Sequencing system has enabled hundreds of peer-reviewed studies in diverse research fields, such as cancer and infectious disease research, drug discovery, marine biology, anthropology, paleontology and many more.

About Eli Lilly and Company

Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation is developing a growing portfolio of pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers - through medicines and information - for some of the world's most urgent medical needs. Additional information about Lilly is available at www.lilly.com.

About SeqWright

Based in Houston, TX, SeqWright Incorporated is recognized as an international leader in the field of contract genomic services which now include multiple next generation sequencing platforms. With more than fifteen years of experience, SeqWright specializes in state-of-the-art Molecular Biology and Genomic services, from small projects up to full clinical trials, within a highly regulated GLP/CLIA environment. SeqWright was recently awarded a license by the state of California to operate as a clinical laboratory. This license, along with CLIA certification, allows SeqWright to handle clinical samples from vast majority of the United States. For additional information about SeqWright and its services, please visit www.seqwright.com.

All products are sold for life science research use only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.
454, 454 SEQUENCING, 454 LIFE SCIENCES, GS FLX TITANIUM, and NIMBLEGEN are trademarks of Roche.

About Roche Diagnostics Deutschland GmbH

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world's leading research-focused healthcare groups in the fields of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. As the world's biggest biotech company and an innovator of products and services for the early detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, the Group contributes on a broad range of fronts to improving people's health and quality of life. Roche is the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics and drugs for cancer and transplantation, and is a market leader in virology. It is also active in other major therapeutic areas such as autoimmune diseases, inflammatory and metabolic disorders and diseases of the central nervous system. In 2007 sales by the Pharmaceuticals Division totaled 36.8 billion Swiss francs, and the Diagnostics Division posted sales of 9.3 billion francs. Roche has R&D agreements and strategic alliances with numerous partners, including majority ownership interests in Genentech and Chugai, and invested over 8 billion Swiss francs in R&D in 2007. Worldwide, the Group employs about 80,000 people. Additional information is available at www.roche.com

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