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Sun, I3C, Compugen, Inpharmatica, Gene Logic

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Citing Change in Direction and Lack of Results, Sun Withdraws from I3C

Sun Microsystems has pulled out of the Interoperable Informatics Infrastructure Consortium.

The I3C, which Sun played a major role in founding in early 2001, has deviated from its original mission of quickly implementing interoperability protocols for the life science informatics community, according to Loralyn Mears, segment manager for life sciences market development at Sun. The decision to withdraw is “really related to return on investment,” she said. “When we looked at the ROI coming from the I3C, it just wasn't there. The user community, which is the whole point of what we were trying to achieve, had just slowly disappeared...and despite best efforts, there was no way to bring that user community back in. So without them, there is no ROI. It's just a bunch of vendors sitting around.”

Andy Palmer, CIO of Infinity Pharmaceuticals and president of the I3C board, said that Sun's departure is “in part a reflection of the changes in the I3C to move more toward an end-user-centric organization versus a vendor-centric organization.”

Sun “has a lot on its plate right now,” Palmer said, “and the kinds of programs that the I3C is running in the life science may not be in line with the strategic direction of Sun.”

Sun is not the first founding member of I3C to withdraw its membership. Incogen pulled out of the organization earlier this year because “things were not going the way we wanted them to go,” said Maciek Sasinowski, Incogen CEO. Originally, Sasinowski said, “we decided that we wanted to be known not for big PR, but for getting things done in a short time frame.” Within the last year, however, the I3C “became much more slower moving and a PR outlet for some of the larger companies,” he said.

Palmer noted that the original vision for I3C was “very grand,” and the long-term direction of the organization “is probably going to involve the close collaboration with other standards bodies, vendors, and end users.”

“It would have been nice if Sun had continued their membership,” said Palmer, “but they've already made a huge contribution to the I3C.”


Compugen May Divest Additional Tools as Q3 Revenues Drop, Losses Widen

Compugen’s revenues for the three months ended Sept. 30, 2003, were $2.0 million, compared to $2.8 million for the third quarter of 2002. The quarterly net loss increased year-over-year, to $3.2 million for the third quarter of 2003, compared to $3.0 million for the third quarter of 2002.

Compugen’s revenues for the three months ended Sept. 30, 2003, were $2.0 million, compared to $2.8 million for the third quarter of 2002. The quarterly net loss increased year-over-year, to $3.2 million for the third quarter of 2003, compared to $3.0 million for the third quarter of 2002.

R&D expenses were $3.1 million for the quarter, compared to $3.5 million in the year-ago period.

As of Sept. 30, 2003, Compugen had $64.8 million in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities, including $45.2 million in long-term marketable securities. As of June 30, 2003, the company had $64.7 million, including $18.9 million in long-term marketable securities.

Compugen is increasing its previously stated year-end expectation of $52 million in cash and cash-related accounts by approximately $6-7 million, Benjamini said.


UCB Research Subscribes to Biopendium

Inpharmatica last week announced that UCB Research has subscribed to Biopendium Online — the web-based version of its Biopendium proteome annotation resource. The database contains 10 billion pre-calculated protein relationships derived from over 1.4 million sequences from 150 different genomes.

UCB Research, the Cambridge, Mass.-based research organization for UCB Pharma, is the first customer for Biopendioum Online, Inpharmatica said.


Gene Logic Q3 Revenues Increase

Gene Logic of Gaithersburg, Md., reported a 25 percent increase in year-over-year revenues for the third quarter, posting $17.7 million in revenues this quarter compared with $14.2 in the third quarter of 2002. The company attributed the increase to its recent acquisition of TherImmune Research.

Gene Logic’s net losses for the quarter were $10.1 million, compared with $7 million in the year-ago period. The company spent $540,000 on R&D, compared with $641,000 in 2002.

As of Sept. 30, the company had $71 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Separately, Gene Logic announced that Aventis expanded an existing subscription agreement to include the ToxExpress system as well as the Ascenta preformatted gene expression data resource.

Aventis is the first subscriber for Ascenta.

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