As companies determine the function of an increasing number of genes and proteins in their search for drug targets, the data they generate will have to be integrated with raw DNA sequence data to make full use of the genomic revolution. As sequence databases have already been developed, functional genomics companies may find it easier to base their efforts on such pre-existing databases, as evidenced by the deal announced on Friday between Elitra Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Incyte Genomics Inc.

Elitra received an exclusive license to INCY's PathoSeq microbial genome sequence database for use in Elitra's functional genomics programs for antimicrobial target identification and characterization. Elitra, which also received the right to market and sell PathoSeq to third parties, will integrate PathoSeq's sequence information from 60 bacterial and fungal organisms, and the database technology and associated bioinformatics software, with the company's own functional data.