CHICAGO, Dec 2, 2004 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Integrated Genomics Inc., a leading provider of bioinformatics tools to the food industry, has licensed its proprietary ERGO database and genomic discovery system to Chr. Hansen, a Danish natural ingredients company. Optimized for analysis of microorganisms, ERGO integrates biological data from genomics, biochemistry, gene expression studies, genetics and literature.
Reaching beyond conventional systems for functional analysis of DNA sequences, Integrated Genomics' platform combines pattern-based analysis with comparative genomics and enables visualization of genes in the contexts of regulation, gene expression data, phylogeny, chromosomal neighborhoods and identification of natural gene fusions. ERGO contains more than 700 genomes at various stages of completion, as well as the largest available collection of networked cellular pathways. Under the terms of the agreement, Chr. Hansen scientists will use the ERGO system to study naturally occurring microorganisms that live in the human gut. Integrated Genomics has sequenced and fully annotated a number of beneficial probiotic bacteria.
"We have found the ERGO discovery system an exceptionally useful tool for studying probiotics, and expect that it will assist us in developing new ingredients that will prove beneficial to human nutrition," said Dr. Eric Johansen, head of the Applied Biotechnology Division at Chr. Hansen. "ERGO provides us with a depth of data and insight into metabolic processes that we could not have found elsewhere," added Dr. Martin Pedersen of Chr. Hansen's Department of Genomics and Strain Development.
"Integrated Genomics is pleased to work with scientists at Chr. Hansen in this important nutritional study," said Roelf Datema, CEO of Integrated Genomics. "We are confident that the ERGO platform can contribute to the understanding of probiotic bacteria and human nutrition."
Chr. Hansen and Integrated Genomics expect the current project to run through 2005.
About Integrated Genomics
Integrated Genomics ( http://www.integratedgenomics.com ) is a provider of bioinformatics products and services for the life science industry, with a recent focus on the use of in silico strategies for metabolic engineering of microbes in the chemical, food, and agricultural industries. The company's expertise in microbial genomics includes genome sequencing, genome analysis and custom bioinformatics. In recent years IG has developed and distributed ERGO, the most advanced and comprehensive bioinformatics suite for microbial genomics on the market. ERGO contains the largest available integration of microbial genome data, including genome-derived metabolic reconstructions and representing the chemical reaction networks of metabolic pathways.
About Chr. Hansen
Chr. Hansen ( http://www.chr-hansen.com ) develops natural ingredient solutions for the food, pharmaceutical, nutritional and agricultural industries, in close cooperation with our customers and partners. Our fundamental aim is to improve the quality of food and people's health, using natural ingredients and processes.
Chr. Hansen spends 7% of revenues on R&D with a strong focus on genomics, in order to better understand our products and processes as well as the behavior of our cultures in our customers' food products. Chr. Hansen believes that a better knowledge of genes in food microorganisms is needed in order to produce ingredients, which can help overcome some of the current lifestyle associated diseases. Moreover, it is important for documenting specific health claims associated with particular probiotic strains. Ultimately, genomics may allow determination of the mode of action of specific beneficial effects.