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GlaxoSmithKline collaborates with National Cancer Institute to make large body of cancer cell genomic data available to all cancer researchers

Data being made available on NCI database could save drug development time and capital for other research institutions

For Immediate Release

PHILADELPHIA, PA – June 20, 2008 –Marking another positive step in the collaborative fight against cancer, GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) announced today the release of genomic profiling data for over 300 cancer cell lines via the National Cancer Institute’s cancer Bioinformatics Grid™ (caBIG™). The caBIG™ initiative is a network of infrastructure and tools that enables the collection, analysis, and sharing of data and knowledge along the entire research pathway from laboratory bench to patient bedside. By releasing the cell line data via caBIG™, GSK could be enabling other cancer research institutions to save considerable drug development time and capital in their future cancer therapeutic research. 

"These data are valuable for many avenues of cancer research, and we are pleased to share them with the cancer community,” said Paolo Poletti, M.D., Senior Vice President, Oncology Medicines Development Centre, R&D, GlaxoSmithKline. “Vast amounts of data are being generated in biomedical research and in order to realize the potential benefits of molecular medicine, scientists need to be able to access data in more timely and cost-efficient ways.  The caBIG™ platform is an excellent tool to do just that.”

With the advent of the human genome project, researchers have been able to identify, aggregate and analyze cancer cell line information in the laboratory. These breakthrough bodies of data have been used extensively in the discovery and development of novel cancer therapeutics.

According to Dr. Richard Wooster, Director of Translational Medicine Oncology, R&D, GSK, “Cataloging this type of information in a network like caBIG™ leads to a ready-made body of biologic information that can be mined by all cancer researchers to further everyone’s understanding of cancer.  In turn, we hope this data will further drive the identification of predictive biomarkers and lead to shorter, more directed clinical trials allowing us to bring drugs more quickly to patients who need them.”

The genomic data being shared by GSK through caBIGTM come from cell lines derived from a wide variety of tumors, including breast, prostate, lung and ovarian cancers. Researchers at academic institutions, small research facilities and non-profit organizations may benefit by not having to incur the prohibitive cost and time involved in identifying and cataloging each cell line. 

“The ability for researchers to share data via the caBIG™ network is exactly what this initiative was designed to enable,” said Robert Clarke, Ph.D., D.Sc., professor of oncology and physiology and biophysics at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of Georgetown University Medical Center and Georgetown University Hospital.  “As more scientists throughout the cancer community, in the US and globally, use caBIG™ and find it easy to share data and collaborate, both basic and clinical research will be improved. We’re excited about what this cancer cell data might provide to other researchers and we also hope it will be a catalyst for other organizations to follow the GSK example.”

The NCI launched the caBIG™ initiative in 2004 to accelerate the research and discovery of new approaches to the detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer. Since that time, more than 200 organizations and 1000 individuals have helped to create more than 40 biomedical research tools such as caArray, the microarray data management system that is guiding the annotation and supporting the exchange of the cancer cell array data provided by GSK.

Interested researchers can download this free data through caArray at GSKdata caArray, like all the tools in the caBIG™ suite, is free and open-source.

About GlaxoSmithKline

GlaxoSmithKline - one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies - is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better, and live longer. For company information, visit GlaxoSmithKline at

GSK in Oncology
GSK Oncology is dedicated to producing innovations in cancer that will make profound differences in the lives of patients. Through GSK’s revolutionary “bench to bedside” approach, we are transforming the way treatments are discovered and developed, resulting in one of the most robust pipelines in the oncology sector. Our worldwide research in oncology includes collaborations with more than 160 cancer centres. GSK is closing in on cancer from all sides with a new generation of patient focused cancer treatments in prevention, supportive care, chemotherapy and targeted therapies.

About caBIG™

The National Cancer Institute’s cancer biomedical Informatics Grid™ (caBIG™) is an information network that enables data and knowledge to be shared within and across organizations, scientific domains, and countries to accelerate the discovery of new approaches for the detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer. Cancer centers, research facilities, and other organizations from across the country are already getting connected with caBIG™, and caBIG™-compatible tools and infrastructure are being adopted throughout the cancer and biomedical community.

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