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Barrett Out, Block in: More Executive Reshuffling at Celera

NEW YORK, Jan 7—Celera Genomics has appointed David Block as executive vice president and chief operating officer of its therapeutics division, the company said on Monday. Block starts his new job on Feb. 1.


Meanwhile, Peter Barrett, a Celera co-founder and chief business officer, has departed to join Atlas Ventures, the Boston life sciences and IT venture company.


Block, who was hired from DuPont Pharmaceuticals, will be responsible for strategic planning at Celera. He will coordinate merger and acquisition activities, business alliances, and direct licensing agreements. He will report directly to company president Craig Venter.


"We believe the wealth of pharmaceutical business experience that [Block] brings will greatly benefit Celera as it continues its evolution and growth as a therapeutic discovery and development company," Venter said in a statement. He also thanked the departing CBO: "The growth and success of Celera to this point has been in part due to the dedication of Peter Barrett."


At DuPont, Block was executive vice president for international operations, where he directed all overseas sales activity. As senior vice president for business development at that company, he concluded collaborations, licensing agreement and acquisitions, and led in the commercialization of the HIV drug Sustiva.


Barrett was executive vice president and chief business officer at Celera. During his time there, he helped take the company public, completed the firm's  $940 million secondary offering, and led the acquisition of Axys Pharmaceuticals in 2001. He joined Perkin-Elmer in 1979 and helped lead the company's move into life sciences.


At Atlas, he will lead life science investment business, identifying and nurturing new life sciences companies. Atlas has helped build companies including MorphoSys, Exelixis, DeCode Genetics, and Structural Genomix. It currently manages more than $2.5 billion in committed capital.

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