ALAMEDA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LifeMap Sciences, Inc., a subsidiary of BioTime, Inc., announced today that its next generation sequencing (“NGS”) analysis and interpretation tools, VarElect (http://varelect.genecards.org), the NGS phenotyper, and GeneAnalytics™ (http://geneanalytics.genecards.org/), a novel gene set analysis tool, has been licensed by SciLifeLab (www.scilifelab.se). SciLifeLab is a Sweden-based leading provider of molecular biosciences services to leading biomedical research institutions and companies. The LifeMap NGS tools will be utilized by SciLifeLab bioinformatics and biologists to enhance the bioinformatics analysis services that it provides across Sweden.
LifeMap Sciences’ VarElect is a powerful, yet easy-to-use application for prioritizing gene variants resulting from NGS experiments that rapidly prioritizes gene variants according to their potential association to a disease or phenotype of interest, and aids in identifying the roles of genes and their variants in biological processes, health, and disease. Together with GeneAnalytics™ it will enable core facilities to provide rapid, cost effective analysis of DNA and RNA NGS data for their users and clients.
“Now you can quickly and readily interpret results from bioinformatic analysis. Within seconds after submitting your gene list, GeneAnalytics™ reports in which tissue their expression is most prevalent, which genes are connected in pathways and in which diseases the genes have been identified. VarElect can take the same gene list, and with a phenotype of interest, list connections between your genes and the phenotype. Among the things you get from VarElect is a list of publications linking your genes to the phenotype, quickly giving you resources for your research. LifeMap’s NGS tools facilitate a way to take your data to the next step; it’s a bridge from bioinformatics to biology,” said Dr. Joakim Lundeberg, Director of the Genomics platform at SciLifeLab, and Professor, Gene Technology, KTH - Royal Institute of Technology.
“We’re excited to introduce our NGS biological interpretation tools to these core NGS, genomics and bioinformatics facilities and believe that these new tools will be of great value to many such facilities,” stated Yaron Guan-Golan, Chief Marketing Officer of LifeMap Sciences. “The fact that research groups at SciLifeLab, a world renowned core facility, have chosen to license these tools demonstrates their value, and we are pleased to be able to provide SciLifeLab with this advanced cutting edge technology to enhance their services.”
LifeMap Sciences’ NGS tools leverage the GeneCards® Suite integrated biomedical knowledgebase of human genes, proteins, cells, biological pathways, diseases, and the relationships between them. The knowledgebase includes three key databases that integrate information from over 120 sources: GeneCards®, the leading human gene database, MalaCards, the human disease database, and LifeMap Discovery®, the cells and tissues database. LifeMap holds the exclusive worldwide license to market GeneCards®, MalaCards, and VarElect and GeneAnalytics™ from Yeda Research and Development Company Ltd., the commercial arm of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel.
About LifeMap Sciences, Inc.
LifeMap Sciences ("LifeMap") is a life sciences technology company that offers integrated, streamlined solutions that empower life scientists worldwide to conduct cutting edge basic, clinical and applied biomedical research. LifeMap’s products are used in more than 3,000 institutions including academia, research hospitals, patent offices, and leading biopharma and diagnostic companies. Operations worldwide are carried out from our offices in California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Tel Aviv and Hong Kong. LifeMap is a subsidiary of BioTime, Inc.
The company’s primary product offering, the GeneCards® Suite, is comprised of an integrated biomedical knowledgebase and premium tools that enable researchers to effectively navigate the universe of human genes, proteins, cells, biological pathways, diseases, and the relationships between them. The knowledgebase includes three key databases that integrate information from over 120 sources: GeneCards®, the leading human gene database, MalaCards, the human disease database, and LifeMap Discovery®, the cells and tissues database. The GeneCards Suite premium tools are a set of biomedical data analysis applications that leverage the GeneCards Suite knowledgebase for gene variant prioritization and RNAseq and microarray gene set analysis to deliver enhanced results, including from the unprecedented quantities of data derived from next generation sequencing (“NGS”). The premium tools include VarElect, the NGS phenotyper, GeneAnalytics™, a novel gene set analysis tool, and GeneALaCart, the GeneCards® batch querying application.
LifeMap Sciences also intends to extend its offerings to the field of mobile health via its subsidiary, LifeMap Solutions, Inc.
Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab (www.scilifelab.se), a national center for molecular biosciences with focus on health and environmental research. SciLifeLab is a national resource and a collaboration between four universities: Karolinska Institutet, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University and Uppsala University. The center combines frontline technical expertise with advanced knowledge of translational medicine and molecular bioscience. Researchers from all of Sweden can use both the technology and the know-how that is present at SciLifeLab. Swedish researchers using the infrastructure available at SciLifeLab typically pay only for reagents and other consumables. Users from commercial companies pay the actual costs of the analyses performed.
About the Weizmann Institute of Science and GeneCards®
The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world's top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions. Noted for its wide-ranging exploration of the natural and exact sciences, the Institute is home to scientists, postdoctoral fellows, Ph.D. and M.Sc. students, and scientific, technical and administrative staff. In addition, visiting scientists and their families – over 500 from 35 countries are regularly hosted at the Institute. The Institute was founded in 1934 following a donation from Israel and Rebecca Sieff to Dr. Chaim Weizmann, a noted biochemist and biotechnologist, who envisioned the establishment of a world-class scientific research center in Israel, and later also became the first President of the State of Israel. Weizmann Institute’s Feinberg Graduate School, established in 1958, has 1200 M.Sc. and Ph.D. students enrolled in studies covering the Institute’s five faculties: Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics and Computer Science. The Institute’s technology transfer arm, Yeda Research and Development Co. Ltd. was the first company of its kind in Israel, and is currently one of the most successful worldwide. Institute research efforts include the search for new ways of fighting disease and hunger, examining leading questions in mathematics and computer science, probing the physics of matter and the universe, creating novel materials and developing new strategies for protecting the environment. Particular excellence in bioinformatics and systems biology is manifested, among others, in the GeneCards® project, initiated in 1996, under the leadership of Prof. Doron Lancet of the Dept. of Molecular Genetics, Head of the Crown Human Genome Center. A team of 10 led by Marilyn Safran continuously innovates and keeps GeneCards as a world-top human gene compendium, automatically mining and integrating 100 worldwide web resources.
About BioTime, Inc.
BioTime, Inc., a pioneer in regenerative medicine, is a clinical-stage biotechnology company. BioTime and its subsidiaries are leveraging their industry-leading experience in pluripotent stem cell technology and a broad intellectual property portfolio to facilitate the development and use of cell-based therapies and gene marker-based molecular diagnostics for major diseases and degenerative conditions for which there presently are no cures. The lead clinical programs of BioTime and its subsidiaries include OpRegen®, currently in a Phase I/IIa trial for the treatment of the dry form of age-related macular degeneration; AST-OPC1, currently in a Phase I/IIa trial for spinal cord injuries; Renevia™, currently in a pivotal trial in Europe as an injectable matrix for the engraftment of transplanted cells to treat HIV-related lipoatrophy; and cancer diagnostics, nearing the completion of initial clinical studies for the detection of lung, bladder, and breast cancers. AST-VAC2, a cancer vaccine, is in the pre-clinical trial stage.
BioTime’s subsidiaries include the publicly traded Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc., developing pluripotent stem cell-based therapies in neurology and oncology, including AST-OPC1 and AST-VAC2; Cell Cure Neurosciences Ltd., developing stem cell-based therapies for retinal and neurological disorders, including OpRegen®; OncoCyte Corporation, developing cancer diagnostics; LifeMap Sciences, Inc., developing and marketing an integrated online database resource for biomedical and stem cell research; LifeMap Solutions, Inc., a subsidiary of LifeMap Sciences, developing mobile health (mHealth) products; ES Cell International Pte Ltd, which has developed cGMP-compliant human embryonic stem cell lines that are being marketed by BioTime for research purposes under the ESI BIO branding program; OrthoCyte Corporation, developing therapies to treat orthopedic disorders, diseases, and injuries; and ReCyte Therapeutics, Inc., developing therapies to treat a variety of cardiovascular and related ischemic disorders.
Statements pertaining to future financial and/or operating results, future growth in research, technology, clinical development, and potential opportunities for BioTime and its subsidiaries, along with other statements about the future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans, or prospects expressed by management constitute forward-looking statements. Any statements that are not historical fact (including, but not limited to statements that contain words such as “will,” “believes,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “estimates”) should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks inherent in the development and/or commercialization of potential products, uncertainty in the results of clinical trials or regulatory approvals, need and ability to obtain future capital, and maintenance of intellectual property rights. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements and as such should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect the business of BioTime and its subsidiaries, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements found in BioTime's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. BioTime disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
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