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Ribozyme Spinoff Atugen Completes $20M Financing


BERLIN--Atugen Biotechnology, a new company that has been formed as a spinoff of the target discovery and validation business of Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals, announced the completion of a $20 million initial financing round and the formal opening of its facilities on the Biomedical Research Campus of the Max Delbruck Center here. Officials said the technology transfer, which includes DNA microarray technology and associated bioinformatics, is the first to have occurred from a US biotechnology company to form a new German company as part of the German Biotechnology Initiative.

Atugen's primary goal will be to accelerate discovery and validation of therapeutic targets by providing a variety of technologies and services to utilize human genomic information. The company said it expects that the technology base transferred from Ribozyme, its substantial initial capitalization, and additional technologies it will acquire or develop, should allow it to improve the speed and certainty of identifying and validating new therapeutic targets for both corporate partners and internal use.

Financing was provided by a number of sources, including the German federal and local governments, the founding company, and venture capital firms including BB Bioventures.

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