Genomica: The Next Wave in Biotech

The genomics industry has been red hot, especially with the recent decoding
of the human genome. Basically, genomics deals with genes and how they
relate to diseases. The promise is that genomics will offer a way for the
creation of drugs to cure intractable diseases. The next step is to make
sense of the complex genetic relationships of the human genome.

Of course, there are many companies that are advancing solutions. In fact,
the industry is known as bioinformatics.

One of the top companies in the industry is
Genomica. The
company plans to go public this week. The lead underwriter is CIBC World
Markets and the price range is $16-$18 (the company plans to issue 5 million
shares). The proposed ticker symbol is GNOM.

The public and private genomic databases have tens of billions of DNA
sequences. Obviously, analyzing the information requires sophisticated
technology solutions.

But there are many challenges. First of all, thousands of scientists across
the globe are analyzing genetic information, yet the classification systems
are often non-standard, as are the technology tools. Next, there is a short
supply of talented scientists in the genomics industry. Finally, it is
extremely difficult to provide for effective vizualization of large
quantities of genomic information.

As for Genomica, it has developed a product called the Discovery Manager.
In fact, it is the result of 15 years of hard work of the company’s chief scientist.

The software is an integrated package of tools and database templates.
Scientist can engage in more effective research – with their own data, as
well as public data sources.

The company has been able to grab such customers as Astra Zeneca,
GlaxoWellcome, Oxagen Limited, Warner-Lambert and the National
Cancer Institute. Then again, these organizations account for 86% of
Genomica’s revenues. What’s more, the revenue base is still small. For 1999,
the total revenues were $781,000. As for the first six months of 2000,
revenues reached $766,000. Losses were $23.3 million.

Yet, keep in mind that the bioinformatics industry is in the incipient stage
and is expected to explode. So by attracting top customers early, Genomica
is in excellent position to become a dominant player.

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