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Compugen and Mark Sarono's venture capital fund are jointly establishing Neviah Genomics) a new company for the discovery and development of diagnostic markers

Nabia Genomics will focus on the discovery and development of new diagnostic markers that will indicate the toxicity of drugs * Compugen will use computational discovery technologies and Mark Sarono's venture capital fund will provide the initial funding * Nabia Genomics is the first company to be funded as part of Mark Sarono's Israeli Biomed Incubator program

Dr. Anat Cohen-Dig, CEO of Compugen
Dr. Anat Cohen-Dig, CEO of Compugen

Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, and Compugen announced today the establishment of Nabiah Genomics, a new start-up company that will focus on the discovery and development of new diagnostic markers that will allow predicting the toxicity of drugs at an early stage. Nabia Genomics will operate within the Israeli biomed incubator of Mark Serono. Mark Sarono's venture capital fund will provide the initial financing for the new company. Compugen will use some of its computational discovery technologies and in return will receive ownership rights in the new company and royalties from future sales. Additional information regarding the financial aspects of the agreement was not provided.

Nabia Genomics represents the first investment within the Israeli biomed incubator recently established by Mark Sarono, and will be located in the advanced research and development complex at Inter-Lab, which was launched about a month ago by Mark Sarono. The laboratories of the Inter-Lab company offer a wide range of infrastructure and services for new start-up companies that will join the program.

The agreement is a continuation of the successful collaboration between Merc Serono and Compugen, which took place during 2009 for the purpose of discovering diagnostic markers for predicting the toxicity of drugs in the initial stages of drug development. Mark Serono and Compugen believe that the establishment of Nabiah Genomics, which combines the capabilities of the two companies, will be able to meet the growing needs of the market for products capable of predicting the toxicity profile of drugs already in the first stages of development, thus minimizing failures in later and more expensive development stages.

Dr. Anat Cohen-Daig, President and CEO of Compugen, said, "Following our successful collaboration with Mark Sarono, we are very happy to deepen the relationship and enter into this new and promising partnership. We are proud to be partners in the first Israeli company to benefit from Mark Sarono's new biomed greenhouse in Israel, and look forward to strengthening the partnership between us and Mark Sarono." Dr. Cohen-Daig added, "Our partnership with Nabiah Genomics based on computational discovery capabilities leverages Compugen's expertise in analyzing genetic information into an innovative field with great business potential and allows Compugen to continue to focus on the program of monoclonal antibodies and therapeutic proteins in the fields of immunology and oncology and in the future provide value to our investors from the partial ownership in the new company and royalties from sales of future products."

"Nabia Genomics is a perfect example of the goal we set before our eyes when we established the Biomed Incubator in Israel: to leverage Israeli science and knowledge and gain access to new products and technologies that will benefit Mark Sarono's core therapeutic areas," said Susan Herbert, Vice President, International Business Development and Strategy at Mark Sarno "In this context, we are extremely happy to partner with Compugen in our first investment. Compugen is one of the leading biotech companies in Israel and a world leader in the field of discovering new drugs through computational means. We believe that the combination of our resources and technologies form a unique basis for the creation of a start-up company that will enter this developing field and has the potential to significantly reduce the risks inherent in drug discovery and development."

Dr. Simon Botti, director of the biotech incubator at Inter-Lab, says that "we are very happy about the first collaboration with Compugen and hope that the new company's activity in the incubator will begin soon."

Regine Shabach, CEO of Inter-Lab, expresses her excitement at the signing of the first agreement and adds that, "We expect fruitful results from this cooperation and hope that other companies will follow Compugen's lead."

Nabia Genomics will use Compugen's sophisticated computational discovery platforms to develop diagnostic kits for advanced toxicology testing. The tests that will be developed will be integrated into a diagnostic marker platform that will help prioritize drugs that are in the development pipeline and evaluate the feasibility of their development.

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