ValiGen US was the US component of a private firms was created in April 2000 through the merger of Kimeragen Inc. of Newtown, PA and Valigene, a Paris-based genomics company. Kimeragen had been founded in 1994 to commercialize chimeraplasty, a gene correction technology designed to develop new treatments for genetic diseases and to identify new drug candidates. The company's functional genomics activities were based in Paris; research on biotech applications in plants and industrial products and bioengineered food products was conducted is San Diego. ValiGen also had offices in Berlin, Germany, where the company is involved in developing population databases, which patients could use for genetic health-risk assessments and drug companies can use to identify potential targets for therapies to treat genetic diseases. Valigen's CEO was Douglas Watson, the former head of Novartis; th scientific advisory boared that included J. Craig Venter and Nobel laureate Hamilton Smith of Celera Genomics. In October 2001, Watson resigned; ValiGen closed its Princeton, New Jersey, laboratory, the site of nearly all its chimeraplasty research. The company was undergoing bankruptcy reorganization in France; the license for chimeraplasty was placed with a small company in San Diego, California, to pursue the technology in plants.