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Compaq to Invest $10M for 2.2 Percent Stake in Geneva Proteomics

NEW YORK, Oct 2 - Compaq Computer (NYSE: CPQ) of Houston will make a $10 million direct investment in Geneva Proteomics in exchange for 2.2 percent of GeneProt’s equity, Cedric Loiret-Bernal, CEO of GeneProt, said Monday.

Loiret-Bernal also said the Geneva-based GeneProt would use Compaq Global Services, StorageWorks, and AlphaServer systems in its proteomic research facilities, which are scheduled to open in 2001.

“We have secured a partnership with Compaq to be our leading supplier of IT,” Loiret-Bernal said at an investor conference sponsored by ING Barings in New York.

The investment is part of Compaq’s previously announced plan to invest $100 million in the life sciences.

GeneProt’s partnership with Compaq is valued at $70 million. When measured in compute power, Loiret Bernal said GeneProt’s deal with Compaq was “larger than Celera’s.” The computers Compaq supplied to Celera (NYSE: CRA) were used in sequencing the human genome.

By the end of October, Loiret-Bernal expects to close a $77 million round of financing. Upon closing that round, GeneProt will have raised approximately $122 million in financing from institutional investors and strategic partners.

The company is also in talks with several leading pharmaceutical companies as part of its efforts to secure an alliance with a leading drug maker.

The deal with Compaq helps to round out GeneProt's technological infrastructure. In September GeneProt said it would purchase 51 mass spectrometers from Bruker Daltonics (Nasdaq: BDAL). Bruker also made a direct equity investment of $10 million in GeneProt.

GeneProt hopes to become a leading player in the burgeoning proteomics sector. Its main competitors are companies such as Oxford GlycoSciences (LSE: OGS) and Celera, which has also made public its intentions to become a dominant player in the sector.

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