By Kim Coghill

Washington Editor

Lexicon Genetics Inc. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. entered a database access and license agreement aimed at high-throughput target validation, which helps determine the role genes play in human disease.

Randall Riggs, senior vice president of business development at The Woodlands, Texas-based Lexicon, would not elaborate on details of the deal, except to refer to a prepared statement showing Lexicon could receive between $15 million and $25 million in access and delivery fees in the five-year agreement. Also, Lexicon stands to receive milestones and royalties on products Princeton, N.J.-based Bristol-Myers develops using the technology.

The agreement provides Bristol-Myers Squibb with use of LexVision, a database containing phenotypic information derived from Lexicon's gene knockout platform.

Scientists use mouse knockouts - in which genes are deleted, or "knocked out," of the mouse genome - to determine which human gene products are valid targets for the discovery and development of new medicines. Bristol-Myers also will access Lexicon's OmniBank Library of over 80,000 mouse embryonic stem cell clones derived from Lexicon's gene-trap technology.

Bristol-Myers is Lexicon's first collaborator in the LexVision program.

Lexicon's stock (NASDAQ:LEXG) closed Wednesday at $32.625, up $2.625.

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