Comprehensive Analysis of Gene Function

Period of Performance: 08/01/1998 - 01/31/1999


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Acacia Biosciences, Inc.
Richmond, CA 94806
Principal Investigator


With the entire genomic sequence of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae determined, the question of gene function can be now be addressed in a eukaryotic organism on a genomic level. Acacia Biosciences, Inc., is developing a novel technology whereby reporter genes are used to monitor the expression level of every gene of an organism simultaneously. The project proposed here involves the creation of a comprehensive collection of mutants, of both essential and non-essential genes, and the utilization of Acacia's technology to define a new phenotype for each mutant. These expression profiles in response to the loss of a gene's function will provide uniform assays for every gene product of the yeast genome, and does not require any prior knowledge regarding the function of the gene. Additionally, these new phenotypes will provide genetic standards with which to assess the specificity of drugs and compounds against every gene product. This will lead to a radically new approach to the identification of new lead compounds for human therapeutics, and dramatically expand the number of therapeutic targets. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: This research is an integral component of the technology being developed by Acacia Biosciences, and will have significant commercial applications in the pharmaceutical industry. It is designed to bring genomics to the process of drug discovery and development for human therapeutics. If successful, this technology will greatly reduce drug development, and thereby reduce the costs associated with this lengthy process.