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Former Sequenom Exec Pleads Guilty; Sentencing Scheduled for August

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Sequenom's former senior vice president of research and develop has pled guilty to a charge that she made false statements about the company's prenatal test for Down syndrome and will be sentenced on Aug. 30, the firm disclosed in a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission after the close of the market on Tuesday.

Elizabeth Dragon had been charged by the US Securities and Exchange Commission in June with making "materially false and misleading statements" about Sequenom's Trisomy 21 test, which continues to be in development, and artificially inflating the company's stock price.

In its SEC filing, the company said that Dragon will be sentenced in the US District Court for the Southern District of California.

As a result of the mishandling of the data for the test, Dragon, Sequenom's former President and CEO, Harry Stylli, and other executives were fired last September by the company.

In May, the company said that it will continue to develop the Trisomy 21 test and "that following extensive scientific experimentation, we have decided to proceed with a purely DNA-based method for the detection of the Trisomy 21 aneuploidy using massively parallel sequencing instead of our proprietary MassARRAY platform."

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