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PEOPLE: GenomeWeb s Weekly Personnel Roundup of the Genomics Sector: Jan 2, 2002

NEW YORK, Jan. 2 — Panacea Pharmaceuticals has added former US Food & Drug Administration commissioner Frank Young to its board of directors, the company said Wednesday. Young, with expertise in genetics, biotechnology, regulatory issues and defense applications of bioscience, will help guide the company's efforts to use functional genomics in developing new therapeutics and diagnostics for cancer and central nervous system diseases.

 

Young was FDA commissioner from 1984 through 1989, during the second term of the Reagan administration. He was subsequently Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Science and the Environment in the federal Department of Health and Human Services until 1993, and director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness and the National Disaster Medical System until 1996.

 

Young has also served as dean of the school of medicine at the University of Rochester, as a World Health Organization commissioner, and as an adviser to the United Nations.

 

Panacea, founded in 1999, focuses its research efforts on Alzheimer's disease, transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, Parkinson's disease, and glioblastomas. The company is based in Rockville, Md.

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Genelabs Technologies has hired Ronald Griffith as vice president of research, the company said in late December. Griffith will direct the company's current effort to identify and optimize preclinical drug candidates that target microbial DNA.

 

Griffith joins the company from Isis Pharmaceuticals, where he was vice president of medicinal chemistry. He directed the Isis small molecule discovery program, run in collaboration with Merck, and managed the company's oligonucleotide synthesis, analytical chemistry and antisense medicinal chemistry facility.

Griffith was previously vice president of chemistry at X-Ceptor Therapeutics, and director of chemical sciences at Tanabe Research Laboratories.

 

Genelabs Technologies is a Redwood City, Calif.-based publicly owned company that specializes in discovering and developing compounds that target DNA in bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other pathogens.

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Agencourt Bioscience said on Dec. 20 that it had added two people to its sales force. Michelle Pricer will be a company Applications Specialist, and Amy Howe will be a sales representative.

Pricer will be the company's liaison with strategic partners, and will work with its sales team in order to integrate Agencourt reagents with automation platforms. She was previously a field applications specialist for Qiagen.

 

Howe will market Agencourt's Solid Phase Reversible Immobilization DNA sequencing technology on the US's East Coast. Howe was a technical sales representative at Qbiogene.

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Massachusetts-based Hybridon said Wednesday that it had appointed Duke University Medical Center's David Pisetsky as a senior scientific advisor to the company.

 

The arrangement also marks the beginning of a scientific collaboration between the two entities to develop Hybridon's Cp-G based synthetic immunomodulatory oligonucleotides. Pisetsky will be involved in this research program, which seeks to modify IMOs as vaccine adjuvants or immunotherapeutic agents to treat cancers, infectious diseases and allergic disorders.

 

Pisetsky is currently director of Duke University's arthritis center, and is also chief of the division of rheumatology, allergy and clinical immunology.

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