A&M's Genomics Institute Gets First Collection

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The first volume for what will be the world's biggest gene libraries is on the proverbial shelves.

Eleven months ago, it was announced that Texas A&M and Houston would be the homes for the Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine, which will house to 350,000 embryonic stem cells. The first 90,000 clones have been installed.

Groundbreaking on the A&M facility will be Tuesday. When complete, TIGM will be at the forefront of developing new medical breakthroughs.

The following is a press released issued by TIGM on this topic:

Houston, Texas, June 14, 2006 – The Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine announced today that the first installation of the OmniBank II library of knockout mouse embryonic stem cell clones has been completed by Lexicon Genetics Incorporated (Nasdaq: LEXG). The initial installation contains more than 90,000 clones, each representing an embryonic stem cell line in which a single gene has been disrupted, or knocked out. Knockouts of more than 6,000 distinct genes are included in the initial library delivery and will be accessible to researchers worldwide. The library is designed to contain multiple clones for each gene to ensure the successful creation of knockout mice. The cell lines in the library have been generated in the C57BL/6 mouse genetic background and are engineered for the study of gene function, allowing researchers to study the involvement of specific genes in a wide variety of diseases and conditions. This is the largest collection of C57BL/6 mouse gene knockouts in the world.

When complete in early 2008, the OmniBank II library will house 350,000 mouse embryonic stem cell clones and is expected to cover between 65% and 70% of all mouse genes. The first installation of the library was completed one month ahead of schedule and includes 20% more clones than originally anticipated. The next installation is expected to be completed in December 2006. Through the Institute’s agreement with Lexicon, researchers may also access specific cells from Lexicon’s existing OmniBank library of 270,000 mouse embryonic stem cell lines in the 129SvEv genetic background.

The OmniBank II library will be delivered to Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine facilities in Houston at the Texas Medical Center and in College Station. Construction of a new building in College Station to house one copy of the library is scheduled to begin with a groundbreaking ceremony on June 20, 2006.

“The speed at which the OmniBank II library of mouse embryonic stem cell clones is coming on-line is impressive,” said Richard H. Finnell, Ph.D., executive director and president of the Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine. “Researchers can gain access to this valuable resource through the Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine. We believe OmniBank II will facilitate the understanding of the function of genes, with strong positive implications for human and veterinary health.”

Researchers interested in obtaining knockout mice generated from OmniBank and OmniBank II mouse embryonic stem cell clones should contact the Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine at www.tigm.org.

About the Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine:
The Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine is a non profit institute created under an award from the Texas Enterprise Fund to pioneer the development of life-changing medical breakthroughs, accelerate the pace of medical discoveries and foster the development of the biotechnology industry in Texas. Using its patented gene knockout technologies, Lexicon Genetics Incorporated is creating for the Institute a comprehensive knockout mouse embryonic stem cell library containing 350,000 cell lines. The Institute will make cells from its library available to researchers worldwide. It is based in Houston and College Station.

OmniBank® is a registered trademark of Lexicon Genetics Incorporated.