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Millennium Predicts Six New Pharmacogenomic Programs for 02; Promises Another Acquisition

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 9 - Millennium Pharmaceuticals plans to expand its pharmacogenomics discovery to where it has as many as six new clinical programs, the company's chairman and CEO said here on Wednesday.


Speaking to investors and analysts at the 20th annual JPMorgan H&Q Healthcare Conference here, Mark Levin also told investors and analysts to expect more acquisition in the new year.


Attendees will likely take as gospel Millennium's promise. In a panel discussion held during the conference's opening day, Kevin Starr, Millennium's soft-spoken CFO, said that acquisitions for the firm are simply "a way of life" rather than seldom-employed strategic gambits.


As GenomeWeb reported, Millennium last month announced its plans to acquire COR in a stock swap worth $2 billion largely for its cardiac product. The deal will also plant four of COR's board members onto Millennium's board, and several members of COR's management team have also agreed to join Millennium management.


In November, Millennium announced it had begun Phase I clinical trials for its first molecule directed against a genomically derived target for metabolic diseases.


The compound, MLN4760, was synthesized by Millennium and was designed with the hope of providing a treatment for obesity. The company partnered with Abbott Laboratories to develop the drug.


"With MLN4760 entering human trials, we realize an important company goal of bringing our first genomically derived target into clinical development," Robert Tepper, Millennium's CSO, said in a statement.

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