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Gemini Makes Two Hires as Prepares to Move into Drug Discovery

NEW YORK, Dec 19 – Gemini Genomics announced Tuesday the hiring of two scientists to lead its efforts to become a drug discovery company.

Steven Butcher, formerly director of target discovery at Pharmacia & Upjohn, has been named vice president science and will be responsible for the company’s scientific operations. Anders Berkenstam, who was previously program coordinator for target discovery also at Pharmacia & Upjohn, will serve as director of science at the company’s offices in Uppsala, Sweden.

“They will be leading the company's transition into drug discovery as it capitalizes on its recent disease gene and protein discoveries," said Patrick Kleyn, chief scientific officer at Gemini. " Their scientific background, particularly in the area of drug target discovery and validation, coupled with their commercial experience make them an invaluable addition to the company.”

Gemini has collaborations with researchers at the Karolinska Institute and the Huddinge Hospital in Stockholm do determine the relationship between particular SNPs and drug metabolism. The company, in collaboration with Large Scale Biology, has also isolated more than 70 proteins it believes are associated with the development of major chronic diseases.

Gemini’s body of genetic data is also being used by Rosetta Inpharmatics to develop software applications.