Instead, it used the data to develop new drugs.
"The real future of genomics is not so much gathering the information, it's mining the information you already have," said Alan E. Guttmacher, deputy director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health.
Genomics suffered during the mapping heyday. But Guttmacher is careful to point out the successes of the science: the identification of genes associated with macular degeneration, new technology that's made analysis faster and cheaper and data that suggests which drugs might be more suitable for which patients.
"I think one needs to separate the genomics hope versus the genomics hype," Guttmacher said. "Clearly there was a lot of hype around the time of the project. I like to think we [on the public NIH side] didn't contribute as much to that as some folks who had more of a financial stake in it."
Guttmacher and his institute's director, Francis S. Collins, still use words like "revolutionary" and "paradigm-altering" when writing about genomics' potential impact on medicine. But they also know for that to be the case, commercial companies must be involved.
"When you get closer to real applications to human disease, where there is a profit to be made, ... it's going to take an industry that has that mind to help develop some of these things" and get them into the hands of the public, said Guttmacher.
He hopes that enough businesses are interested in the science when that time comes.
"It's still very early in the genome revolution, but it's continuing to move forward," he said. "There's no reason at this time to think it's going to stop."
How that will affect Gene Logic is uncertain.
This summer, the company announced that its genomics revenue for the quarter ending June 30 was $10 million short, laid off half of its genomics staff, began revamping the division and hired a consultant to figure out how best to do it. It has tried drug development to shore up its business as well as launched a department that's attempting to find new uses for failed or stalled drugs from other companies.
Its genomics division provides the bulk of the company's revenue, however, and it's ailing.
Gene Logic expects to announce plans for the division in a few weeks after executives and an outside business consultant complete a strategic review, which "will determine the direction we take with this business," Mark D. Gessler, Gene Logic's chief executive, said during a conference call last month.
"This is a critical time for the company's history."