MUNICH--In what is claimed to be the largest amount of seed financing raised by a biotech company in Germany to date, Genome Pharmaceuticals, a functional genomics firm here, has completed a DM6.5 million seed round of venture capital financing led by BB Bioventures, Cambridge, Mass., with Techno Venture Management here as coinvestor. Genome has also applied for state and federal funding from the Bayerische Kapitalbeteiligungsgesellschaft and Technologie Beteiligungs gesellschaft der Deutschen Ausgleichsbank.
Genome offers an integrated platform of automated high-throughput genomic technologies, including gene expression analyses, protein interaction mapping, and bioinformatics, aimed at identifying drug targets.
The company has appointed Michael Steinmetz of Venture Asset Management, which manages BB Bioventures' investments, as its acting CEO. He previously served as vice-president of preclinical research and development at Hoffmann-La Roche, where he managed many of the pharmaceutical company's genomics collaborations with such companies as Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Incyte Pharmaceuticals, and Caliper Technologies. "Based on the people behind the company and its broad technology base, Genome Pharmaceuticals is set to become a leading biotechnology company," Steinmetz predicted.