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San Diego Life Sciences Companies, Researchers Return To Business, While Fires Continue

NEW YORK, Oct. 29 (GenomeWeb News) - Today, life sciences businesses and research institutes in San Diego are trying to get back to business, as the fires that have raged through Southern California over the past few days continue to burn.


Sequenom, which was closed yesterday, managed to report its third-quarter earnings anyway despite the smoke that has enveloped the area and ruined the air quality. Today, the company was open, and staffed at 100 percent, according to Pete DeSpain, a company spokesman. "The air quality is better," DeSpain said. The company, however, lost two days in progress toward fulfilling customer orders.


At Illumina, the operations were back up to speed after being shut down on Monday afternoon, according to Bill Craumer, a company spokesman. The company was operating at nearly full staff as well.


Invitrogen, in Carlsbad, is also trying to return to business-as-usual, Kumar Bala, a market development manager, told GenomeWeb News' sister publication ProteoMonitor.  But "getting workers to the sites is a horrible scene," he said. A number of workers have had homes destroyed, and road closure has made commuting very difficult. Meanwhile, shipments of Invitrogen products have been delayed, after the company had to close its manufacturing plant due to the smoke in the ventilation system, and because of delays and cancellations of flights in and out of San Diego-which held up FedEx and UPS shipments, Bala said.


In the research arena, Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla remains open, as it has throughout the crisis. But while the ranks were thinned somewhat over the past few days, "we are back pretty much to full staff today, " said Keith McKewon the institute's vice president of communications. "The winds have shifted and breezes are blowing in from the ocean, which has cleared the air a bit, even though the fires in the eastern part of the county are burning," he said.


The Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation is also open today, and air quality is "back to normal," after being judged "marginal" yesterday, according to the institute's website.

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