Basel / Tel Aviv, 4 September 2002 - Novartis and Compugen today announced the expansion of their multimillion-dollar collaboration, for the accelerated identification of drug targets, to include target validation. Under the expanded agreement, the two companies will collaborate on the research and development of a large-scale RNA interference (RNAi) platform.
The RNAi collaboration is based on Compugen's expertise in transcriptome analysis, which takes into account alternative splicing. The platform is intended for the design of a large-scale library of transcript-specific inhibiting molecules, to be synthesized by Novartis and to be used for evaluation of gene function and target validation. Under the terms of the agreement, Novartis is entitled to use the RNAi platform for its internal research and will own the derived results. Compugen will own the RNAi platform and will be entitled to use it for both internal and commercialization purposes.
This original collaboration for the completion of Novartis' human transcriptome database began in August 2001, and includes the licensing by Novartis of Compugen's LEADS computational biology platform for the creation of a comprehensive genome, transcriptome and proteome database. The database is derived from an analysis of all public genomic and expressed sequence data, as well as Novartis' proprietary and third party data. Please see backgrounder for more information on RNAi.