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Third Wave Taps Head of New Genomics Unit

NEW YORK, Feb. 25 - Third Wave has hired a former Pharmacia vice president to lead its new genomics business unit, the company said on Monday.

 

Ivan Trifunovich became vice president and general manager of the unit, which the company created last December to coordinate the sale and marketing of its Invader genotyping and gene-expression technology. His began in January.

 

Trifunovich, 39, will initially lead an undisclosed number of sales and marketing employees from a facility in central New Jersey. Third Wave has not yet found a home for the New Jersey facility, Trifunovish told GenomeWeb. The unit, which will soon open satellite offices in Massachusetts, Maryland, and California, is expected to generate $40 million in revenue this year from sales in the US.

 

He will also be responsible for forging pharmacogenomic partnerships with pharmaceutical companies and academia.

 

Third Wave's genomics unit is one of two new divisions the company has created in recent months. The second unit, which will be overseen by company CEO Lance Fors together with a corporate vice president, covers personalized patient care and deals primarily with selling Third Wave's analyte specific reagents to the clinical diagnostic market.

Third Wave's plan is to "elevate the company's position in the marketplace so that we can actually get into partnerships with personalized medicine," Trifunovich said. Helping to push this along is a recent deal Third Wave struck with Japanese drug manufacturer Daiichi Pure Chemical to co-develop a pharmacogenomic test that measures patient predisposition to side effects to a particular chemotherapeutic.

 

Trifunovich, who is attending the Cambridge Healthcare Institute's Genome Tri-Conference in Santa Clara, Calif., said that Third Wave hopes to leverage IP from its Daiichi deal with its North American partners to perform additional pharmacogenomics studies. "We would like to be a key player in the personalized medicine arena, by developing patient care-level tests that will go along with drugs," he said.

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