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Kelaroo Releases Sequence Profiling Tool

By Kevin Davies

Oct. 10, 2007 | In advance of its new SeqR product, Kelaroo has expanded its contract research with Amylin Pharmaceuticals, and received an equity investment from the La Jolla, CA, biopharma.

Kelaroo provides cheminformatics and bioinformatics applications and services in support of the drug development work of some 40 biopharma companies, with Amylin being one of the company’s first and largest clients. In conjunction with Amylin scientists, Kelaroo programmers have developed a sequence-profiling approach called SeqR, combining machine learning methods and high-performance sequence analysis, suited toward genome-scale data mining and sequence optimization.

“SeqR is an innovative sequence-profiling approach that combines machine learning methods, automated model validation, and high performance sequence analysis designed for genome-scale data mining and sequence optimization,” explains Greg Fond, Kelaroo’s director of business development.

“SeqR is not a homology based approach, and thus does not suffer from the limitations of BLAST and other methods that depend upon sequence homology and alignment. SeqR can be trained using public and proprietary sequence activity data, such as that obtained from corporate library screening and physiochemical characterization.” In this model training approach, sequence-activity data can be entered into the SeqR machine-learning algorithms to train predictive models. “Training SeqR models on proprietary assay results is a particularly powerful application of the technology,” says Fond.

According to Robert Feinstein, co-founder, VP, and CSO of Kelaroo, SeqR has been instrumental in accelerating Amylin’s computational hormone hunting and drug development efforts. “Kelaroo’s contributions to our research efforts have been substantial and we see the investment as reinforcing a valuable and productive relationship,” said Michael Hanley, Amylin’s VP discovery research.

Fond says that Kelaroo plans to launch SeqR before the end of 2007. While Amylin remains a strategic partner in the development and validation of the SeqR technology, Fond says that Kelaroo will leverage its existing customer relationships during the product’s initial launch, and will be offering incentives for early adopters of this technology.

The SeqR technology was developed “to provide a revolutionary platform for mining of genomes and proteomes for sequences of interest,” according to Andrew Reum, Kelaroo’s president and CEO. “I believe the promise of bioinformatics is embodied in the utility of this system. SeqR has tremendous potential for any company working on peptides, proteins, or biologicals. It is particularly satisfying that Amylin, as one of our most loyal customers, will be a key beneficiary.”

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