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Rubicon Appoints New CEO; Begins Rolling Out Genome-Amplification Technology

NEW YORK, Sept. 4 - Rubicon Genomics' newly appointed president and CEO--the company's second in 20 months--said his first priority is to launch the firm's whole-genome amplification technology.

 

Fred Beyerlein, who replaces Thomas Collet, said Rubicon is currently rolling out the technology through a series of paid proof-of-principle studies at 14 undisclosed pharma and biotech facilities.

 

The company is also developing two new technologies it plans to launch sometime in 2003, Beyerlein said. The first, called targeted genome amplification, would amplify only specific areas of the genome rather than the entire length of DNA.

 

The second, called molecular haplotyping, foregoes statistical inferences in favor of the "mother-father-child approach," said Beyerlein, who is 55. Each is an offshoot of the genome-amplification technology, which is itself based on Rubicon's OmniPlex technology.

 

This technology relies on an enzymatic reaction called Nick Translation to reformat chromosomes into new molecules called plexisomes that are more easily amplified and manipulated, said Collet, who left Rubicon after serving as president and CEO for just 20 months.

 

According to Rubicon, the Nick Translation process breaks down DNA into discrete strands of equal length. DNA in this format can be easily searched for multiple SNPs, and the technology could allow the company to offer SNP scoring services at less than one cent per SNP.

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