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Pairings : Sep 30, 2009

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Sequenom President and CEO Harry Stylli and Senior Vice President of R&D Elizabeth Dragon have been fired by the firm's board of directors, following an investigation into the mishandling of test data, Sequenom said this week.

In addition to those two executives, the firm said that Chief Financial Officer Paul Hawran and Steve Owings, vice president of commercial development for prenatal diagnostics, have resigned from the company, and three other employees have been fired. Stylli was also obligated to resign his position on Sequenom's board.

Sequenom's board appointed Chairman Harry Hixson, a former president and chief operating officer of Amgen, and Director Ronald Lindsay to serve on an interim basis as CEO and SVP of R&D, respectively. The board also has designated controller Justin File to serve as principal financial and accounting officer.

The clearout comes following the completion of an investigation into the mishandling of R&D test data and results on the firm's SEQureDx Down syndrome test. Sequenom disclosed the problems last April and opened an investigation at that time.

"While each of these officers and employees has denied wrongdoing, the special committee's investigation has raised serious concerns, resulting in a loss of confidence by the independent members of the company's board of directors in the personnel involved," the firm explained in a statement.

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