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Craig Venter Joins Ionian Technologies Board; Kevin Starr Named to Alnylam Board; and Others

NEW YORK, Oct. 8 (GenomeWeb News) - Craig Venter has been named to Ionian Technologies' board of directors, the company said Monday.


Venter, the former CSO and founder of Celera Genomics, currently heads up three non-profits that he founded: The Center for the Advancement of Genomics; the Institute for Biological Energy Alternatives; and the Craig Venter Science Foundation. He is also founder and chairman of The Institute for Genomic Research in Rockville, Md.


Ionian Technologies, which is privately held and located in Upland, Calif., develops molecular diagnostics tools using isothermal DNA and RNA amplification. It was founded by David Galas and Jeffrey Van Ness as a spin-off of the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences in Claremont, Calif.



Kevin Starr has been appointed to the board of directors of Alnylam, the Cambridge, Mass., RNA interference therapeutics company said Oct. 2.


Starr is the former chief operating officer and CFO of Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he worked from 1998 through December 2002, when he was replaced by Kenneth Bate, an executive from investment-services firm JSB Partners. Prior to joining Millennium, Starr was corporate controller and manager of financial analysis at Biogen, from 1991 to 1998.


John Maraganore, Alnylam's CEO, and Vincent Miles, senior vice president of business development, are also Millennium alums: Maraganore left a position as senior vice president of strategic product development at the company in December 2002, to head up Alnylam. Miles left Millennium in July to go to Alnylam.


In another Millennium move, Inpharmatica, a UK-based drug discovery company, said Oct. 2 it has recruited seven medicinal chemists from the company's Cambridge, UK site, as well as appointing Andrew Ayscough as director of chemistry.


Ayscough comes to Inpharmatica from British Biotech Pharmaceuticals, where he directed medicinal chemistry programs.


The seven medicinal chemists are migrating from Millennium to Inpharmatica in the wake of Millennium's recent announcement that it was closing its Cambridge, UK, site, Inpharmatica said.



Simon Bennett has been appointed business development director of Solexa, the UK-based sequencing company said Oct. 1.


Bennett arrives at Solexa, which is developing technologies to enable researchers to rapidly sequence individual genomes, from Oxagen, of the UK, where he was director of business development.

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