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>NetGenics Will Increase Headcount and Commercialize Technologies with $21.3M

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LEVELAND, Ohio--In a round of equity financing that drew support from old and new investors, bioinformatics integrator NetGenics has raised $21.3 million. CEO Manuel Glynias said the new money will go largely toward hiring staff to support a collaboration with IBM and to commercialize technologies that the company has developed during the past year for customers Pfizer and Wyeth Ayerst Research.

Wyeth retained NetGenics last year to build an extension to NetGenics’ Synergy product that would integrate gene expression data with DNA and protein sequence data, metabolic pathway data, abstracts from the US National Library of Medicine, and other pieces of information. Glynias called the end-product a "one-stop shop for trying to
understand what your gene expression data is saying."

With Pfizer’s computer engineering team, NetGenics also built a system to integrate data across multiple therapeutic areas and allow scientists to view at once all the disparate data generated about a particular gene or target. Glynias said NetGenics will now offer both technologies commercially.

The financing round, NetGenics’ third, was led by Dresdner Kleinwor Benson. Lombard Odier & Cie, Muzinich, and Kecalp, an affiliate of Merrill Lynch, were among several funds and individual investors participating. Previous investors who joined this round included Orbimed Advisors, WPG-Farber Present Fund, and Crystal Internet Venture.

Glynias, who said NetGenics raised the money in a two-month period, noted that investors are becoming aware of the urgency of life science companies’ need for research software integration. "With Celera doing a news release every month about how much closer they are to finishing the human genome and with Aurora telling you how they can now screen 100,000 small molecules in 12 hours, people recognize the amount of data is becoming overwhelming."

Glynias also acknowledged that activity in the biotech market in November and December did not hurt NetGenics’ fundraising efforts.

--Adrienne Burke

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