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Bioinformatics Incubator Raises $2M in Financing

NEW YORK, Oct 12 – LaunchCyte, a bioinformatics incubator based in Pittsburgh, said Thursday it has raised $2 million in financing and has announced the appointments of senior science and finance executives.

“In five months we've gone from zero to $2 million and from nobody to a staff of 12,” Tom Petzinger, LaunchCyte’s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement. “Pulling this off is a testament to the opportunity we have in Pittsburgh and to the team we've recruited to capitalize on it.”

The company said that it would use the funds to provide services and seed capital to early-stage firms in “digital biology.” LaunchCyte will also create new companies to commercialize bioinformatics products. Berkowitz, Pierchalski, a boutique money-management and investment-banking firm based in Pittsburgh, led the financing round.

Among the new appointments are Jonathan Kaufman, as director of science. Kaufman previously worked on technology-transfer initiatives for the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and as a scientist and programmer-analyst for Merck.

Pat Rogan, formerly CFO at MediaSite, has been named director of finance.

Jonathan Bieley, a database design specialists, will be the director of process applications. Bieley previously worked for Wired Environments, a broadband Internet-service provider. LaunchCyte plans to now launch a strategic funding round, offering institutional investors access to early-stage opportunities in bioinformatics.

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