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Zyomyx Auctioning Off Equipment; Only Six Employees Remain

NEW YORK , Oct. 27 (GenomeWeb News) - Protein chip firm Zyomyx is auctioning off $50 million worth of equipment, and has scaled down its staff to six employees, according to the company conducting the auction.


Don Cowan, president of technology auction firm Cowan Alexander, told GenomeWeb News today that the equipment came from five buildings with a total of roughly 100,000 square feet. The auction "encompasses biotechnology equipment, semiconductor equipment, optics and laser equipment, IT equipment and PCs -- everything you'd find in a facility -- there's a machine shop, there's office furniture, there's facility equipment," Cowan said.


"There's everything from lab supplies and glassware right up to half a million dollars worth of NMRs and HPLCs from Agilent ... [and] bioreactors," he added.


Asked if Zyomyx has gone out of business, Cowan said, "No. What they've done is scaled way back. If they don't absolutely, positively need it for any kind of ongoing operation, they're selling it. They've gone from five buildings filled with scientists and support staff down to like six people."


Cowan said the auction house is hoping to bring in $3 million-$4 million from the sale of Zyomyx's equipment.


Calls to Zyomyx were not returned in time for this article.


Company officials denied in an interview with GenomeWeb News two weeks ago that the firm was going out of business after a posting on California's labor department website said the company has shut down. Zyomyx had filed paperwork with the Alameda County Workforce Investment Board informing them of massive layoffs -- according to the board's website, 44 people were being laid off.


Privately held Zyomyx has raised $102 million through six rounds of financing since 1998.


The auction takes place Nov. 9-11 at at the firm's facilities in Hayward, Calif.The auctions will be webcast and attendees can bid for the equipment via the Internet. More information about the items on the block is available  here.

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