News Releases


Myriad, Hitachi, Oracle & Friedli Join Forces To Map The Entire Human Proteome

Apr 4, 2001 08:42 AM

- $185 Million Collaboration to Determine All Human Protein Interactions And Decipher Biochemical Pathways –

- Webcast of Conference Call to be Available at 10:00am Eastern Today, See Below -

SALT LAKE CITY, TOKYO, AND REDWOOD SHORES, CALIF., April 4, 2001 - Myriad Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq: MYGN), Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT) and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL,) today announced that they have formed a landmark alliance to map the human proteome in less than three years. The collaboration will combine Myriad’s proteomics expertise with the leading information and electronics technologies of Hitachi and the leading software capabilities of Oracle, to analyze all proteins and their interactions within cells of the body. The alliance partners expect to collect this information in a proprietary database of all human protein interactions, all biochemical pathways and a comprehensive catalog of purified proteins by 2004.

The collaboration, valued at $185 million, will take place within the newly formed Myriad Proteomics, Inc., a 50% owned subsidiary of Myriad Genetics. Myriad Proteomics will market its proprietary database and set of proteomic materials to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies for therapeutic and diagnostic product development.

"Bringing together these three powerhouse companies to map the human proteome will lead to the understanding of the molecular basis of protein function and dysfunction, creating unprecedented opportunities for pharmaceutical development,” said Peter Meldrum, President and Chief Executive Officer of Myriad Genetics, Inc. “This project represents a bold leap toward the future of drug development through a substantial commitment to discovering the molecular basis of disease in order to create safer, more effective therapeutics."

As the human genome is being completed and annotated, proteomics is assuming the leading role in determining the cause of disease, driving advances in disease prevention and treatment. The knowledge of protein interactions and biochemical pathways that will be revealed with Myriad’s technologies will play a pivotal role in identifying factors that contribute to disease onset, and thereby provide ideal targets to interrupt the disease process or potentially, to prevent disease altogether.

"This project will generate a massive amount of information about the human proteome, and Oracle’s database will store, analyze and distribute all of it,” said Larry Ellison, Chief Executive Officer of Oracle. "We look forward to participating in this remarkable collaboration and extending Oracle’s strong position in the life sciences industry.”

To achieve its objective, Myriad will apply two complementary proteomic technologies. The company will use its proprietary ProNet® protein interaction technology, which is an industrialized high-throughput version of the yeast two-hybrid system, and ProSpec™, a proprietary mass spectrometric technology for the identification of protein complexes, and is ideally suited to identify proteins in complexes even if those proteins undergo secondary changes after they are expressed in the cell. Combining these complementary technologies is necessary in order to identify all human protein interactions and biochemical pathways. Both the ProNet® and ProSpec™ technologies will be applied in a non-directed fashion or “shotgun approach,” which, due to its rapid and randomized nature, is the most efficient means to achieve an undertaking of this magnitude.

Myriad Genetics will contribute technology valued at $82 million to the alliance. Hitachi, Oracle and Friedli Corporate Finance of Zurich, Switzerland, will contribute a combined $85 million in cash, plus $18 million in technology to be used in the collaboration.

“The strategic alliance with Myriad Genetics and Oracle is a major milestone in Hitachi’s aggressive commitment to its emerging life sciences business. This endeavor, in addition to the ongoing collaboration with Myriad Genetics on ProNet® technology, strengthens Hitachi’s presence in the proteomics fields,” said Hiroya Taguchi, Chief Executive Officer of the Life Science Group at Hitachi,Ltd. “Integrated platforms comprising cluster servers, storage and network systems provided from Hitachi ensure the establishment of a reliable and productive IT infrastructure for this proteomics alliance.”

Myriad, Hitachi and Oracle intend to generate the full complement of expressed human proteins in a purified form. This collection will become an excellent resource to undertake structural biology studies such as X-ray crystallography and 2D-NMR with an aim to identify protein domains of biological and therapeutic significance. The availability of such structural information will allow Myriad to match the chemical diversity of available compounds with the novel therapeutically relevant proteins, leading to the pursuit of chemi-proteomic strategies that will enable the design of novel therapeutic compounds in the context of relevant structural information.

Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is one of the world’s leading global electronics companies, with fiscal 1999 (ended March 31, 2000) consolidated sales of 8,001 billion yen ($75.5 billion*). The company manufactures and markets a wide range of products, including computers, semiconductors, consumer products and power and industrial equipment. For more information on Hitachi, Ltd., please visit Hitachi’s Web site at

* At an exchange rate of 106 yen to the dollar.

Oracle provides the software that powers the Internet. For more information about Oracle, please call (650) 506-7000 or visit Oracle on the web at

Friedli Corporate Finance is a leading Swiss high-tech investment banking firm and the Investment Manager of New Venturetec, a Swiss publicly traded investment company. Please visit Friedli Corporate Finance has been an investor in Myriad since the start of its operations and still is a shareholder of Myriad.

Myriad Genetics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel therapeutic products derived from its proprietary genomic and proteomic technologies. The Company has established two wholly owned subsidiaries. Myriad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. develops and intends to market therapeutic compounds, and Myriad Genetic Laboratories, Inc. develops and markets proprietary predictive medicine and personalized medicine products. The Company has established strategic alliances with Bayer, Eli Lilly, Hitachi, Novartis, Pharmacia, Roche, Schering AG and Schering-Plough.

he discussion in this news release includes forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, including statements regarding the ability of Myriad Proteomics to map the entire human proteome in less than three years, the opportunities for pharmaceutical development that might be created, and the effect of and role in disease understanding and prevention that will result from the knowledge that will be generated by Myriad Proteomics. Such statements are based on management’s current expectations that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth or implied by forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to uncertainties as to the extent of future government regulation of Myriad Genetics’ or Myriad Proteomics’ business, uncertainties as to whether Myriad Genetics or Myriad Proteomics and its collaborators will be successful in developing, and obtaining regulatory approval for, and commercial acceptance of, therapeutics; the risk that markets will not exist for therapeutic compounds that Myriad Genetics or Myriad Proteomics develops or if such markets exist, that Myriad Genetics or Myriad Proteomics will not be able to sell compounds, which it develops, at acceptable prices.