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PEOPLE: GenomeWeb's Weekly Personnel Roundup of the Genomics Sector

NEW YORK, Jan. 16 — Protein separation product supplier Zaxis International said on Tuesday that it had appointed Leonard Tannen as president and CEO.


Tannen had previously served as a marketing and sales consultant to the company.


The Hudson, Ohio-based company manufactures standard and custom pre-cast polyacrylamide gels for use in diagnostic kits, DNA sequencers, and 2-D protein separation systems.



Incyte Genomics said on Monday that it had added Richard De Schutter and Paul Brooke to its board of directors.


The appointments are part of Incyte’s efforts to develop from a genomics database business to a drug-discovery company.


Paul Brooke is currently the general partner of PSMV Holdings, an advisory director at Morgan Stanley and a venture partner at MPM Capital.


De Schutter was chairman and CEO at DuPont Pharmaceuticals, and had previously been vice chairman, chief administration officer, and a director at Monsanto. Prior to that, De Schutter was chairman and CEO at G.D. Searle, Monsanto’s pharmaceutical subsidiary.


In November, Incyte named a new president and a new CEO as part of its efforts to shift the company’s work. New Incyte CEO Paul Friedman said recently that the company plans to hire between100 and 200 researchers to work in small-molecule discovery



Belgian structural bioinformatics firm AlgoNomics said Monday that it had hired Brian Eisenburger as the company’s chief business officer.


Eisenburger brings experience in life science business development, the company said in a statement. His past employers include Dutch pharmaceutical and chemical company Gist-brocades/DSM, Dutch drug development contract research organization TNO Pharma, and Pharming.



Renovis, a genomics-based neuropharmaceutical company, said on Jan. 9 that it had added Nancy Crowell to its board of directors.


Crowell is a founding partner of Applied Genomic Technology Capital Funds, which invested in Renovis during the company’s recently concluded second round of private funding. She was previously partner and managing director at Cowen and Company where she managed the healthcare investment banking practice.


Renovis, a startup based in South San Francisco, Calif., is using genomics and cell-based assay techniques to develop therapies for neurological and psychiatric disease.



Brad Walsh has left his position as the facility manager of the Australian Proteome Analysis Facility in Sydney.


Walsh, one of the first to sequence proteins extracted from two dimensional gels, has managed the research center since 1996. He is also president and one of the founding members of the Australian Electrophoresis Society.


Walsh did not disclose future plans.



Michael Ramsay has joined Cell Genesys as the company’s vice president for manufacturing operations, the company said in a statement on Jan. 8.


Cell Genesys is in the process of preparing for Phase III clinical trials for its cancer therapeutics in the next 12 to 18 months, and Ramsay will direct the company’s manufacturing expansion. He will report to company president Joseph Vallner.


Ramsay was most recently vice president of manufacturing at ALZA Corporation, a pharmaceutical company that recently merged with Johnson & Johnson. He also worked with Vallner at SEQUUS Pharmaceuticals.


Cell Genesys, based in Foster City, Calif., is developing cancer vaccines, viral therapies and in vivo gene therapy for cancer. It is currently conducting clinical trials for its cancer vaccines in  treatment of prostate cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, leukemia and myeloma.



Aptus Genomics said on Jan. 8 that it had added three new members to its scientific advisory board.


The new board members are Michael Brownstein, Neal Copeland and Nancy Jenkins.


Brownstein is chief of the laboratory of genetics at the National Human Genome Research Institute.


Copeland is director of the Mouse Cancer Genetics Program at the National Cancer Institute, and was involved in the founding of Millennium Pharmaceuticals.


Jenkins heads the molecular genetics of development section in the Mouse Cancer Genetics Program at NCI, and was also involved in founding Millennium.


Aptus Genomics, based in Gaithersburg, Md., was launched in June 2000. The company  is developing a high-throughput cAMP screening assay and a portfolio of G-protein coupled receptor  genes for drug discovery.



The Automation Partnership has appointed Rod Westrop as its genomics business manager, the company said on Jan. 7. Westrop will develop the company’s genomics and proteomics efforts and expand applications of its PCR set up, protein crystallization and DNA sample management products.


Westrop was previously managing director of Jarvis Porter Healthcare, and also worked as European director of sales and business development at Lark Technologies, the  molecular biology contract research organization.


The Automation Partnership is based in Cambridge, U.K., and focuses on automating biotechnology procedures, including ultra high throughput screening, compound and sample management, liquid handling and cell culture.



Structural proteomics company GeneFormatics said on Jan. 7 that it had brought on Vincent Gotz as chief business officer.


His expertise in technology assessment, pharmaceutical development, negotiations and deal structuring will be useful to the company in its ongoing collaborations, said GeneFormatics president John Chiplin in a statement. Gotz will manage the company’s partnerships and pursue further licensing and collaboration deals.


Gotz was previously vice president of business development for Epicyte Pharmaceutical.



Proteomics company ActivX Biosciences has hired Nancy Dahl as vice president and general counsel. The announcement was made on Jan. 7.


ActivX chose Dahl for her expertise in corporate and patent law. She was previously vice president and general counsel of Amylin Pharmaceuticals, and had earlier experience in patent and corporate law.


ActivX is a privately held company based in La Jolla, Calif. Its research focuses on the identification and analysis of active proteins, and has developed its own high-throughput platform to investigate protein activity.



Cytogen subsidiary AxCell Biosciences said will be forming a new scientific advisory board and hiring a CEO in order to promote collaborations and deals, the company announced Jan. 7.


The division is interested in expanding relationships based on its tools and databases for signal transduction pathway information and affinity screening technologies.


Cytogen vice president Michael Becker will act as interim CEO while the company conducts a search. AxCell president and chief technology officer John Rodwell will retain his position and will also serve as head of the company’s new scientific advisory board.


Recent AxCell deals include collaborations with Mt. Sinai and Pluvita.



Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based Paradigm Genetics said on Jan. 7 that it had added Leroy Hood to its board of directors. Hood will help guide the company as it reconfigures itself from an agricultural biotech company to a fully-integrated drug discovery company and expands its efforts in biomedical research.


Hood is president and director of the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle Washington, a fellow of numerous professional societies including the National Academy of Science, and on the board of many journals in genomics and related research.


He will be the first medical doctor on the company’s board, according to a company spokesperson.



Lexicon Genetics appointed Stephen McAndrew its vice president of business development, the company said on Jan. 3.


McAndrew, a veteran of Bristol-Myers Squibb and Hoffman La Roche, will develop  collaborations and alliances for Lexicon’s drug development work.


McAndrew was most recently director of biotechnology licensing with the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute, where he coordinated alliances and collaborations for development of pre-clinical lead compounds and platform technologies.


Lexicon is a publicly held Woodlands, Texas-based company using gene knockout technology in drug development.



Xenon Genetics has added Gilbert Kliman to its board of directors, the company said on Jan. 2. Kliman is a general partner focusing on biopharmaceuticals and healthcare with InterWest Partners, a California and Texas venture capital firm.


Kliman’s experience as a practicing physician and venture capitalist will be helpful to Xenon, said company CEO Frank Holler in a statement.


Xenon Genetics is a privately owned genomics-based drug discovery company focusing on cardiovascular, neurological and metabolic diseases.



Jane Green will be the new vice president of corporate communications for Exelixis, the company announced on Jan 2.


She was previously senior director of corporate communications at Caliper Technologies, and coordinated the company’s initial public offering. She also directed corporate communications and investor relations for Isis Pharmaceuticals.



Promoted? Changing jobs? GenomeWeb wants to know. Help us keep track of you by e-mailing us at [email protected] PEOPLE, a roundup of personnel comings and goings in genomics, appears each Wednesday.
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