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Soros Cuts Stake in CuraGen, Maintains Holding in 454

NEW YORK, Feb 15 – George Soros’ company Soros Fund Management reduced its holding in CuraGen but maintained its stake in CuraGen’s privately held subsidiary, 454, a CuraGen spokesman said Thursday.

“Soros unloaded literally all of his biotech holdings, and we were one that he maintained his position in,” a CuraGen spokesman said. “We saw this as a vote of confidence.”

In an amended Schedule 13G statement filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this week, Soros Fund Management indicated that it had reduced its holdings in publicly traded CuraGen to a 1.86 percent stake. In July, Soros owned a 6.48 percent stake in the company.

The CuraGen spokesman said, however, that Soros Fund Management still had a stake in 454, a CuraGen offshoot that is expected to make hardware and software for proteomics and/or genotyping. CuraGen owns 60 percent of 454 and outside investors, including Cooper Hill Partners and Soros Fund Management, own the remainder.

The spokesman said he could not comment on specific plans for 454, but noted that CuraGen would discuss the subsidiary at the upcoming Tri Genome Conference to be held in San Francisco, March 3-9.

The spokesman said CuraGen is currently hiring for 454, which is expected to launch its first product sometime this year.