19 Firstfield Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Phone: 301-556-1000

Kenneth C. Carter, president and CEO
Privately Held


Avalon Pharmaceuticals Inc., which was founded in 1999 and began doing business in January 2000, is a genomics-based company using drug discovery, automation and informatics technologies to improve and accelerate the discovery of small-molecule drugs directly from genomics data. It currently is focusing on colorectal cancer.

Its technologies include gene data mining, cytogenics, high-throughput screening, chemistry, robotics and bioinformatics. Using these tools Avalon identifies gene expression markers for disease activity and directly screens for drug effects on them in complex biological systems. The company identifies small-molecule drug candidates and optimizes them for highly disease-specific activity, and said it produces lead compounds faster than traditional target-based drug discovery.

It plans to expand its internal research programs into prostate, breast and lung cancers and other therapeutic areas.


Avalon has a development partnership with ImmunoGen Inc., entering in January 2001 into a license agreement to develop antibody-based products based on an undisclosed number of genomic targets delivered by Avalon. ImmunoGen will develop, manufacture and commercialize any resulting products.

It has technology partnerships with Clinomics Inc. for the histology and tissues sample banks; Compugen Inc. for the GenCarta database and software; Gene Logic Inc. for the GeneExpress 2000 database and software; and NetGenics Inc. for the DiscoveryCenter system.

The company also has collaborations with a number of unnamed academic institutions.