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Diversa Raises $20 Million Financing, Wins Cancer Institute Award

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SAN DIEGO, Calif.--Diversa received a $100,000 Small Business Innovative Research award from the National Cancer Institute and more than $20 million in venture capital financing, half of that from four new investors: New York Life Insurance, State of Michigan Retirement Fund, Benefit Capital Management, and CSK Venture Capital.

With the NCI award, Diversa will further its search for pharmaceutical compounds from uncultivated microorganisms inhabiting diverse environments. Researchers will develop methods to isolate, identify, and replicate DNA from these microorganisms that may encode potentially therapeutic bioactive molecules, according to Diversa CEO Terrance Bruggeman.

Since it was founded in 1994, the corporation has raised close to $50 million in financing and become a leader in the discovery of high-value enzymes and bioactive compounds for the pharmaceutical, agricultural, and specialty chemical industries.

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