Lexicon Genetics Announces Launch of Lexgen.com Genomics Internet Exchange

Lexicon Genetics corpdev at lexgen.com
Thu Jan 20 12:04:14 EST 2000

    News Release

Jeffrey Wade
Senior Vice President and CFO
Lexicon Genetics Incorporated
(281) 364-0100
jwade at lexgen.com

 Priscilla Harlan
 Kari Lampka
 Feinstein Kean Healthcare
 (617) 577-8110



- Internet Access to 60,000 Knockout Mouse Clones from OmniBank® -

The Woodlands, Texas, January 20, 2000 - Lexicon Genetics Incorporated today
announced the launch of Lexgen.com(TM) (www.Lexgen.com), a genomics Internet
exchange which contains a substantial portion of Lexicon's OmniBank® gene
sequence database and library of 60,000 knockout mouse clones for use in
determining the function of genes. Through Lexgen.com, researchers at
pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and academic institutions
throughout the world will be able to conduct Web-based bioinformatics mining
of genes at no charge, purchase novel knockout mouse clones from OmniBank,
and determine the function of genes in collaboration with Lexicon.

"Genes with potential importance in many human disease states have already
been identified in OmniBank and we expect broad Internet access to OmniBank
will significantly accelerate the discovery of how genes work and which ones
are important to pharmaceutical development," said Arthur T. Sands, M.D.,
Ph.D., Lexicon's President and Chief Executive Officer. "The nature of the
OmniBank functional genomics resource - its value to a wide range of
specialized researchers and its genomic scale - uniquely lends itself to
exploitation through the Internet in collaboration with researchers
throughout the world."

Lexgen.com allows registered users to use Lexicon's bioinformatics software
to mine the OmniBank database. The company's bioinformatics software uses a
Web-based interface to provide access in a relational database to OmniBank
gene sequence information with similarity to publicly-available known genes,
gene names, associated substance names and abstracts of relevant articles.
Lexicon's OmniBank database and mouse clone library presently contains more
than 60,000 embryonic stem (ES) cell clones stored in liquid nitrogen. Each
is identified by DNA sequence from the altered gene stored in a relational
database. Every OmniBank ES cell clone may be grown into a knockout mouse, a
mouse whose DNA has been mutated to eliminate the function of or "knock out"
a specified gene. Knockout mice have become the preferred method, in both
academia and industry, for the study of gene function in mammals, and
provide valuable predictive information as to which gene products are valid
drug targets or therapeutic proteins for pharmaceutical development.
OmniBank is based on a research breakthrough in gene trapping technology
developed by Lexicon scientists at the company's research laboratories in
The Woodlands, Texas. The technology was originally published in the journal
Nature in April 1998.

"Our bioinformatics software combines a user-friendly interface that allows
Lexgen.com users to search by keyword or DNA sequence," said Christophe
Person, Lexicon's Vice President of Informatics. "The software also includes
an abstract navigator that allows users to search through abstracts of
relevant articles based on keywords and substance names relating to genes
with high similarity to OmniBank clones."

"Lexgen.com allows scientists to discover the genetic basis of human
diseases more rapidly by providing a unique Internet source of tens of
thousands of novel knockout mouse clones that can be used for determining
the functions of the genes identified in the human genome," said Brian
Zambrowicz, Ph.D., Lexicon's Vice President of Research. "Finding the best
targets for drug discovery among the estimated 100,000 genes contained in
the human genome is a task of such complexity and scale that it requires the
power of the Internet and the combined efforts of leading research
scientists throughout the world."

The advent of genomics and upcoming completion of the Human Genome Project
represent an opportunity for the development of drugs that are more
effective and have fewer side effects than the currently available
treatments, as well as drugs that address medical needs for which there are
presently no effective treatments. Most drugs on the market today interact
with a total of about 500 specific protein targets, each of which is encoded
by the sequence of a gene. While estimates of the total number of potential
drug targets encoded within the human genome vary, many experts believe that
genomics research may discover between 5,000 and 15,000 new targets for
pharmaceutical development. Consequently, the genomics explosion of DNA
sequence information represents a significant opportunity for drug
discovery. The most pressing new challenge for drug discovery is the
identification of a targeted gene's function and its disease relevance.
Lexicon believes that a cost effective solution to this challenge requires
the redefinition of drug discovery paradigm in the genome era by
systematically determining the in vivo function of large numbers of genes at
the outset of the drug discovery process.

All no-fee subscribers to Lexgen.com will have access to the portion of the
OmniBank database that represents known human and mouse genes. Corporate
subscribers that pay access fees and academic researchers who enter into
collaborations with Lexicon can also obtain access to the new gene
discoveries contained within OmniBank. Lexicon offers a range of terms for
the purchase of knockout mice from OmniBank. These include reduced rate
programs for academic researchers who grant Lexicon certain rights to
license inventions or receive royalties on products discovered using
OmniBank mice.

Lexicon Genetics Incorporated (www.lexicon-genetics.com) is a pioneer in the
design, development and application of high-throughput gene trapping and
mutagenesis technologies for gene discovery and functional genomics. Lexicon
employs its proprietary Human Gene Trap(TM) database, OmniBank® library of
gene-trapped mouse clones and its web-based bioinformatics software in an
integrated technology platform for drug discovery and drug target
validation. Lexicon has an agreement with Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
for access to the Human Gene Trap and OmniBank databases. Lexicon also has
commercial OmniBank alliances with ZymoGenetics/Novo Nordisk and DuPont
Pharmaceuticals. Lexicon also provides access to a substantial portion of
OmniBank through its www.Lexgen.com genomics Internet exchange to
subscribers at leading research institutions throughout the world. Lexicon
Genetics Incorporated, founded in 1995, is a privately-held company based in
The Woodlands, Texas, U.S.A

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