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Ribozyme Forms New Company In Germany

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BERLIN--Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals of Boulder, Colo., has formed a new company here with help from private sector investments and funding commitments from the German government as part of the government's initiative to encourage new biotechnology investments in the country. The investments could provide in excess of $50 million for five years.

The new company, Atugen Biotechnology, will utilize Ribozyme's proprietary ribozyme and related technologies as a continuation of Ribozyme's target validation and discovery business. Atugen's primary goal will be to accelerate in vivo validation of human health therapeutic targets. Ribozyme said it expects the technologies to be acquired or developed by Atugen, combined with its potentially substantial initial capitalization, will allow that company to make significant improvements in the speed and specificity with which new therapeutic targets can be identified and validated.

Technologies the company expects to add include transgenic animals, the use of DNA chips for differential expression, and bioinformatics.

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