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Celera Axes 132 Jobs To Refocus On Drug Development

NEW YORK, June 11-Celera Genomics today announced a major restructuring that will eliminate 132 jobs and purge the company's genome sequencing and online information business.


Sixteen percent of the company's workforce will be let go, mostly in DNA sequencing, data management and analysis support, sales and general administration.


All Celera Genomics R&D staff will report to one new manager, who is currently being recruited.


The company indicated that it will also soon bring on new staff to pump up its efforts in drug development.


In its genome sequencing department, Celera will retain a vestigial staff to complete the company's resequencing project and provide additional support to drug discovery efforts, said company spokesperson Rob Bennett.

The move was prompted by Celera's decision to reorganize rather than a need to rein in costs, said Bennett. "The main objective is to align the organization around drug discovery activities," he said. "That's the big motivator here. This not being driven by the need to take out cost."


Bennett also said that the structural changes in R&D serve primarily to tighten connections between the company's small molecule discovery, proteomics, and informatics research groups.


According to Celera, the reductions will not harm ongoing customer support for the online division.


More than 200 staff will be retained in this division to maintain the Celera Discovery System and related information products, said Bennett. "This business has been profitable, and we have a strong interest in maintaining it."


Bennett said that Celera could not provide any details about large-scale recruiting efforts until a new head of research had been named, but that the company would likely be making some "selective" hires soon.


The company will take a one-time charge of $2.8 million in this quarter as a result of the restructuring.


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