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Two Bioinformatics Firms Each Secure $15 Million In Private Placements

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NEW YORK--Two bioinformatics firms completed private placements last month. Pangea Systems, a privately held provider of bioinformatics software based in Oakland, Calif., completed its Series C private financing for $15 million on December 14. The following day, Compugen, of Tel Aviv and Woburn, Mass., announced that it had completed a $15 million equity private placement.

Pangea said it expects to raise an additional $3 million by mid-February for a total financing round of $18 million. The company said it will use the proceeds to fund development and marketing of the next generation of its bioinformatics software.

Pangea's financing was led by MDS Capital and Boston Millennia Partners. Also participating

were the company's previous venture investors, Institutional Venture Partners, Mayfield Fund, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, as well as new investors Levensohn Capital Management and Moss Forest Ventures.

"We are delighted with the quality and experience of the new investors, as well as the level of commitment shown by our existing shareholders," said John Couch, Pangea's CEO. "The successful closing of this round of financing is further validation that Pangea's approach to solving the bioinformatics needs of companies involved in all aspects of the drug discovery process is on track."

Bob Allan, vice-president of MDS Capital, remarked, "It is clear Pangea Systems is a leader in helping pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies effectively manage the explosion of life science data which is key to the next generation of drug discovery." Allan said his firm targets $700 million towards building companies in the health and life sciences sector.

Tom Penn, principal at Boston Millennia Partners said his firm believes "Pangea is ideally positioned to assist its customers in the most important work they will do in the next 10 years."

Pangea described its mission as providing "pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies with operationally proven software applications, unique scientific tools, an open computing environment, and value-added professional services that integrate the collection, organization and analysis of biological and biochemical information."

Compugen

Compugen's financing was led by Clal Biotechnology Industries, a subsidiary of Clal Israel, one of the country's leading investment firms. Hapoalim Investments, Ampal, Evergreen Funds, and Cayrex Private Equity also participated in the round. Current Compugen investors include US Venture Partners, Apax-Leumi, Israel Seed Partners, and Oppenheimer's Genesis Fund.

Martin Gerstel, chairman of Compugen's board, said the financing would be used to increase the company's research and development efforts. Compugen has installed its computational accelerators and sequence analysis software products at more than 50 sites worldwide, including Merck, Bayer, Monsanto, and Smith Kline Beecham. The company recently announced two major contracts. One was awarded by the US Patent and Trademark Office, which will use Compugen's products to analyze protein and DNA sequence data submitted in patent applications. Parke-Davis signed a three-year, multimillion-dollar-per-year collaboration in which it will use Compugen's Leads drug target discovery platform.

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