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Celera submits genome draft


Pharmaceutical Representative

Celera Genomics has submitted its manuscript on the human genome to the scientific journal Science.

Rockville, MD-based Celera Genomics has submitted its manuscript on the human genome to the scientific journal Science. The paper is now undergoing scientific peer review, and is expected to be published in early 2001. The submission of the draft has once again raised concerns about the availability of the information to the scientific community.

"Our standing policy is that when a paper is published, archival data relevant to its results or methods must be deposited in a publicly accessible database," according to a statement from Science. "That principle has been fully upheld in our agreement with Celera, which has agreed to make the entire sequence available free of charge. Academic users may access it, do searches, download segments up to one megabase, publish their results and seek intellectual property protection."

The statement also said that longer downloads are allowed, but require a signed agreement not to redistribute the data; however, there are no reach-through provisions or restrictions on publication of the researcher's results. Commercial users may also access the data freely upon executing a material transfer agreement stating that they will not commercialize their results or redistribute the sequence.

"The result is that any scientist can examine and work with Celera's sequence in order to verify or confirm the conclusions of the paper, perform their own basic research and publish the results," the statement read. "The arrangement fulfills the spirit as well as the letter of our policy, which pertains to access and not to subsequent restrictions on commercial development. The objective of making available through peer review and publication data that is at the forefront of scientific research, and that might otherwise not be open to public scrutiny, is important for the goals of advancing science and public health. We believe we have accomplished this ... without setting a novel precedent."

Celera is continuing discussions with the International Public Human Sequencing Consortium to coordinate simultaneous publication. PR

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