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Roche Provides Update on Reorganization; NimbleGen, 454 Businesses; Peptide Array Platform

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Roche has created a new business unit to oversee the development and commercialization of sequencing- and microarray-based products.

A company spokesperson told BioArray News that the company's new Sequencing Unit will be part of the Roche Diagnostics Division, will be based in Pleasanton, Calif., and will be led by Dan Zabrowski.

In addition to the new Pleasanton location, Roche's Sequencing Unit retains its 454 Life Sciences site in Branford, Conn., and it's NimbleGen site in Madison Wis., the spokesperson said. Paul Shaffer has been named general manager of the 454 business and Rebecca Selzer continues as general manager for the NimbleGen business business, she said.

In addition to Shaffer and Selzer, Zabrowski's new leadership team will include a head of business development, a head of strategic marketing, a head of research, a head of development, as well as legal, finance, and HR-related positions, according to the spokesperson.

Roche reported last week that the NimbleGen team would work with Kapa Biosystems to provide next-generation sequencing library preparation products. The new offering combines Kapa's library preparation kits with Roche NimbleGen's SeqCap EZ line of sequence capture products.

SeqCap EZ was one of the few product lines derived from NimbleGen's core array synthesis technology to survive last year's restructuring. Other products, such as the company's comparative genomic hybridization arrays, were discontinued at the end of 2012.

Still, the company has continued to develop and produce high-density peptide microarrays for a select number of collaborators. In October, the company said that it was preparing a commercialization plan for its high-density peptide arrays.

The spokesperson affirmed that Roche's NimbleGen team continues to develop the peptide array technology within the new Sequencing Unit.

Roche's new unit was formed as part of the dissolution of the Roche Applied Science business area earlier this year.

In addition, earlier this year, Roche announced that it would stop selling and supporting its 454 sequencers by mid-2016, and that it would by that date eliminate 100 positions connected to 454, as well as shutter its Connecticut facility as part of the planned restructuring.

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