Houston, TEXAS — Compaq Computer Corporation announced it will invest $100 million in early-stage life sciences companies in the areas of genomics, bioinformatics, and related market disciplines. This will involve a mix of direct investment in such companies, and investment in venture capital funds targeting these areas.
Compaq’s goal is to spur the growth of discovery in life sciences companies through a combination of financial support and early access to Compaq’s industry-leading AlphaServer systems running the Tru64 UNIX operating system, StorageWorks systems, solutions and services.
Compaq said that initial investments will begin immediately with a significant investment in the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Applied Genomic Technology Capital Fund, L.P. ( http://www.agtcfunds.com ), a venture capital fund focusing on investments in genomics and bioinformatics.
Compaq AlphaServers and StorageWork storage systems are used today for genome sequencing, gene discovery, and related activities by companies like Celera Genomics and leading participants in the human genome project, including MIT’s Whitehead Institute and the Sanger Centre. They are also used extensively by large pharmaceutical companies.
“We have already established Compaq as one of the leading suppliers of high-performance products, services, and solutions for the sequencing of the human genome and for advanced bioinformatics and life sciences research,” said Michael Capellas, Compaq President and Chief Executive Officer, “Now we’re expanding our participation in this exciting market by investing in companies in the early stages of their development. This is all about fostering discoveries that will impact our everyday lives, while also building long-term strategic relationships in a rapidly growing market.”
Capellas noted that Compaq’s AlphaServer and StorageWorks systems, together with its application partners and professional services organization, offer proven solutions that can scale up as these companies grow.
“Advanced information technology is central to the revolution in healthcare and many other industries that will result from the rapidly growing field of genomics,” said Noubar Afeyan, Managing Partner of AGTC Funds. “The companies we invest in will be racing to deliver results, and will require the highest possible computing performance. We are pleased with Compaq’s investment, and excited to have Compaq, the leading supplier of bioinformatics computing systems, as our strategic IT partner.”
Genomics companies have common needs for fast processors, architectures that offer processor and memory scalability, very large storage systems, Web-based access and delivery capabilities, and a powerful and reliable operating system.
Compaq offers all of this with its AlphaServer and StorageWorks storage systems, and its Tru64 UNIX operating system – a combination of capabilities unmatched in the field of human genome and bioinformatics research.
As advances continue in genomics, bioinformatics and related fields, the need for advanced computing and data storage requirements will continue to grow as well. Industry analysts estimate up to 100 percent annual revenue growth for genomics companies, and information technology spending is expected to match or exceed that revenue growth.
Compaq Computer Corporation, a Fortune Global 100 company, is the largest supplier of computing systems in the world. Compaq designs, develops, manufactures and markets hardware, software, solutions, and services, including industry-leading enterprise computing solutions, fault-tolerant business-critical solutions, and communications products, commercial desktop and portable products, and consumer PCs. Customer support and information about Compaq and its products and services are available at http://www.compaq.com .