Compugen reorganizes, plans 25% cut to workforce

CEO Alex Kotzer: This very painful step will improve our ability to support and achieve development and commercial objectives.

Compugen (Nasdaq: CGEN; TASE: CGEN) today announced organizational changes to support its development and commercialization plans for 2006 and 2007. The company is being reorganized into three operating units: a therapeutics business unit, a diagnostic biomarkers business unit, and a research and discovery unit.

The key driver for these organizational changes has been Compugen's desire to focus all resources and activities on short and mid-term development and commercialization goals. The net result of these efforts is a planned reduction in the company's total headcount by approximately 25%, and an expected decrease in expenditures of $2-3 million per year in 2006 and 2007, compared to 2005.

The therapeutics business unit's primary short term focus is the on-going in-vitro and in-vivo validation of a large number of potential therapeutic proteins predicted by the company's initial discovery engines, and selected for further evaluation on the basis of market potential, proprietary position, and therapeutic advantages. This business unit will be led by Dr. Noam Shani, previously VP biology R&D.

All of the company's activities in the field of diagnostic biomarkers have been consolidated into a diagnostic biomarker business unit that will be led by Dr. Anat Cohen-Dayag, previously director of diagnostics within the biology R&D division.

The research and discovery unit was established to both provide new discoveries for evaluation by the therapeutic and diagnostic business units, as well as to be responsible for the creation of additional discovery engines and other platforms and technologies to continue to secure the Company's leadership in predictive biology and its future growth. This new unit will be headed by Dr. Yossi Cohen, previously director of science and technology.

Compugen president and CEO Alex Kotzer said, "It is now both possible and appropriate for the company to target the unique discovery capability that has been created to specific product areas and, while continuing to invest substantially in the further enhancement of our core research, to also focus these activities in broad, but clearly defined, application areas. Unfortunately, this results in a number of very talented and loyal contributors to our past efforts and accomplishments leaving the company, which is a very painful step for us to take. However, it is clear that these actions significantly improve Compugen's ability to support and achieve its development and commercial objectives".

Compugen is a drug and diagnostic discovery company incorporating ideas and methods from mathematics, computer science, and physics into biology, chemistry, and medicine. The company has an early stage in-house pipeline consisting of selected therapeutic protein candidates discovered by the company. Additional diagnostic discoveries have been out-licensed for development under milestone and royalty bearing agreements. Compugen has established a small-molecule drug discovery affiliate - Keddem Bioscience, and an agricultural biotechnology affiliate - Evogene.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on Sunday, December 04, 2005

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