TEL AVIV--Compugen announced plans to make an initial public offering in the US this year to support the expansion of its genetic R&D methods, according to a Dow Jones Newswire report. The company, which has identified more than 14,000 genes and gene sequences, has licensed its bioinformatics technologies to American Home Products’ Wyeth-Ayerst division, Amgen, Bayer, Eli Lilly, Merck, Parke-Davis, and SmithKline Beecham. Compugen also recently announced the launch of an online research portal, LabOnWeb.com. Venture capital firms, including US Venture Partners, have invested $25 million in the company.
Part of Compugen’s gene discovery technology involves modeling where and how the first genes were found, something that the company contended is a more efficient method than other approaches. "It’s like oil exploration," said chairman Martin Gerstel in the news report. "All the other oil companies are hitting oil, but we’re creating a model based on how the first geyser was discovered."