Evogene and Compugen Break News

Evogene and Compugen have both made headlines today. The two companies are related – Evogen was spun off of Compugen six years ago as an independent startup. Evogen will receive NIS 7.2 million from venture capital fund AquAgro. The ag-biotech startup develops improved plants for the agricultural and biofuel industries through plant genomics. A few weeks ago I wrote a post about the Evogene partnership with Rehovot-based CBD Technologies to collaborate on the improvement of cotton fiber properties.

Compugen announced yesterday its discovery of a blood-based biomarker for the diagnosis of lung cancer. The dual-listed firm (Nasdaq:CGEN) is involved in the identification and licensing of molecular level biomarkers and processes using computational biology tools. The discoveries are used in therapeutic and diagnostic products, for which it receives royalties.

AquAgro Invests $3.75M in Computerised Electricity Systems

agro.pngAquAgro, a venture capital fund formed in 2007 to focus on Israel’s water and agriculture technologies, has invested $3.75 million in Netanya-based start-up Computerised Electricity Systems (CES).  According to Globes, “CES’s technology aims to replace the household electricity box, enabling the electricity utility to reduce the supply on the grid during peak house in a uniform and equitable way for all customers. The technology aims to avoid initiated blackout and brownouts of whole neighborhoods and areas during peak hours that exceed a utility’s power production capacity.”

CES was formed in 2002 by CTO Lulo Wittner and is the second cleantech start-up to receive investment by AquAgro; Advanced Desalination Technologies Ltd received $4 million in January.  The fund, which is part of B. Gaon Holdings Ltd. (TASE: GAON), has set up Aqua Lab which will continue to invest in early-stage cleantech start-ups.

CES is managed by CEO Yaron Sheinman, has 15 employees, completed product development nine months ago and already has a large contract with a utility of a foreign country for the sale of several systems over the next few years.

See the full Globes article more info.