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News > Technology
Celera sparks biotech run
January 10, 2000: 4:58 p.m. ET

Genomics company says it is near completion of mapping human genome
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Gene research firm Celera Genomics said Monday that it is nearing completion of mapping the entire human genome, a development that would be years ahead of similar efforts by an international consortium of publicly funded scientists and academics.
    Shares of Celera, a Rockville, Md.-based company that has been building a massive database of human genetic material, surged nearly 30 percent on the news. Other companies in the sector also jumped, building on gains amassed during an explosive past few months in the burgeoning field of genomics.
    "The excitement is tremendous, Sushant Kumar, a biotech analyst at Mehta Partners, said about the sector.
    Scientists say that the mapping of the human genome will herald a new era of customized medicine, allowing doctors to better understand why people are predisposed to certain diseases. The gene map will help drug makers develop genetics-based drugs to target diseases such as breast cancer or Alzheimers disease.
    Celera said it has now sequenced 90 percent of the human genome and that it believes that it has amassed more than 97 percent of all human genes in its database.
    Celera said it expects to complete the sequencing work by this summer - which would be about three years ahead of a similar project by the international Human Genome Project.
    Several months ago Celera greatly accelerated the process of sequencing the human genome by using a so-called "shotgun" technique to separate fragments of human chromosomes and then reassembling them to put together the sequences that make up the double helix of DNA.
    "The whole genome shotgun technique focuses on sequencing the entire genome at once, allowing for real-time discovery of human genes across the entire genome," said J. Craig Venter, president and chief scientific officer of Celera.
    Stock in Celera, a tracking stock of PE Corp., shot up 51-15/16 to 238-7/8, hitting a new 52-week high of 270 at one point during the session.
    The news pushed up the entire sector. Shares of drug developer Human Genome Sciences Inc., (HGSI) climbed 17-1/4 to 177-9/16; genomics researcher Millennium Pharmaceuticals (MLNM) rose 18-5/8 to 1701/2; genomics-equipment maker Affymetrix (AFFX) surged 39-5/8 to 192-7/8 and Gene Logic (GLGC) rose 6-3/4 to 36-9/16. Back to top

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.