SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--After shareholders of Sequana Therapeutics voted overwhelmingly in favor of the move earlier this month, Arris Pharma ceutical here has completed its acquisition of the leading genomics firm, with the new, combined entity taking on the name AxyS Pharmaceuticals. Then on January 14, AxyS announced that it has launched a new Advanced Tech nologies Division to focus on commercializing the company's capabilities in combinatorial chemistry, pharmacogenomics, and its patented Delta technology.
AxyS also named Robert Reed, formerly the company's senior director of business development, as vice-president and divisional manager for the new group. Douglas Livingston will serve as divisional vice-president for combinatorial chemistry.
According to the two companies, AxyS aims to be a leader in the integration of drug discovery technologies, from gene identification through clinical development. In particular, the firm will focus on the discovery of small-molecule therapeutics. Sequana used industrial-scale gene discovery and functional genomics technologies, including a strong bioinformatics component, to help develop therapeutic and diagnostic products. Thanks to deals signed previously by Arris and Sequana, AxyS has research collaborations with several major pharmaceutical and biotech companies in such areas as respiratory, cardiovascular, metabolic, and infectious disease, as well as oncology and central nervous system disorders.
The former Sequana entity, which employs approximately 200, will continue operations as a wholly owned subsidiary at its La Jolla, Calif., headquarters and at its NemaPharm subsidiary in Cambridge, Mass. Sequana shareholders held a special meeting January 7 to vote on the proposal. Reportedly, over 93 percent approved the merger.