GlaxoSmithKline last week quietly sold 4.7 million shares of its Affymetrix stock in after-hours trading, liquidating an investment that goes back to the early 1990s when Affymetrix was being spun out of its parent company, Affymax.

Doug Farrell, Affymetrix’s vice president of investor relations, told BioArray News that Glaxo’s sale of its last large chunk of stock would, over time, reduce volatility in the stock. Three years ago, Glaxo started selling off what was at one time a 60-percent share of Affymetrix.

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