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UPDATE: Lion Cuts San Diego Workforce by 20 Percent, Hires Three MDL Execs in Restructuring Effort

This story has been updated from a previous version.

NEW YORK, April 4 – Lion Bioscience said Wednesday it has cut the workforce at its San Diego operation, formerly Trega Biosciences, by approximately 20 percent as it moves to integrate Trega into the existing Lion organization. 

Approximately 25 people from a staff of 120 were let go as part of a decision to limit the focus of the Trega operation to better match Lion’s business model, said Friedrich von Bohlen, CEO of Lion. 

“In San Diego we offered three types of services: software, discovery, and a combinatorial library. We decided that combinatorial chemistry is not our core business,” said von Bohlen. “We decided to stay with our focus and reduce our activities in the combinatorial chemistry business.” 

Lion said it would restructure the San Diego facility to serve as an R&D center of excellence for chemistry, medicinal chemistry and computational sciences. The center will develop predictive software tools for ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion), toxicology, and cheminformatics as part of Lion’s goal establish a horizontal enterprise-wide informatics system that combines biology, chemistry, and preclinical research with clinical data and information.

As part of the restructuring, Lion has hired three new executives from cheminformatics company MDL Information Systems. Rudolph Potenzone will serve as president and CEO of Lion's US operations, Daniel Keesman will be vice president of global sales and marketing, and Mark Canales will serve as senior vice president of cheminformatics development. 

Potenzone replaces Michael Grey, who resigned from his position as CEO and president of Trega.

The San Diego R&D center and Lion's Heidelberg facility will comprise "a comprehensive but controlled drug discovery pipeline from early discovery up to and including pre-clinical research," said von Bohlen.

Potenzone said that the San Diego facility would focus both on cheminformatics and lab synthesis and screening. He said the lab work would help "fine-tune the activities of the informatics development. This will give us the opportunity to design tools and capabilities never before implemented and delivered in this marketplace."

Potenzone added that Lion also intends to restructure its sales and marketing force.    

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