This article was originally published in Start Up
With so much genomics data and putative drug targets to sift through, drug developers cannot risk making research resource allocation decisions before correlating gene and protein function with a disease process. The need has spawned a new generation of post-genomics companies focused on developing tools for validating drug targets, including smart screening methodologies and cell-based assays, and on ways to better organize and characterize genomics and proteomics data.
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EraGen is developing hardware and software tools for genomics analysis including Master Catalog, a web-based tool that combines genomic database organization and search capabilities with evolutionary biological information, and AEGIS, a technology for direct DNA detection without the need for target amplification.
Cellular Genomics discovers and validates new drug targets, initially those associated with dendritic cells, T cells, and mast cells. It is carrying out classical cell biology studies in parallel with genomic analysis, thereby correlating changing cellular behavior with changes in patterns of gene expression and in protein modification and localization within the cell.
Epigenomics is developing diagnostics based on individuals' genetic profiles. Its core technology is based on measurements of DNA methylation: the company believes methyl groups, which stick up like flags from stretches of DNA, may indicate the absence or presence of disease.