Last week, Celera Genomics took one of its strongest steps away from the data-centric business model under which it was launched, releasing 16 percent, or 132, of its staff in the genome sequencing and online business units.
The move was was not a cost-cutting tactic, said company spokesman Rob Bennett. “The main objective is to align the organization around drug discovery activities,” he told BioInform’s sister publication, GenomeWeb.com. “That’s the big motivator here. This is not being driven by the need to take out cost.”
All Celera Genomics R&D staff will report to one new manager, who is currently being recruited. The company will retain limited staff in its genome sequencing department to complete its resequencing project and provide additional support to drug discovery efforts, Bennett said. In addition, more than 200 employees will remain to maintain the Celera Discovery System and related information products.
The company plans to add new staff to bolster its drug development activities, but further details of those plans are still unclear.
The restructuring impacts some of the senior scientific staff at Celera who contributed greatly to its sequencing projects.
Gene Myers, vice president of informatics research, will continue to run discovery informatics, but he and his group will move to Celera’s sister company, Applied Biosystems, which now distributes CDS.
Mark Adams, vice president for genome programs, will stay in the Celera informatics division but will refocus the group to study applications in drug discovery and development.
Ham Smith, senior scientist and director of DNA resources, will also stay with Celera and will be given “the creative latitude to decide which projects he wants to get involved in,” said Bennett.
John Reynders, VP of information systems, will focus on computing and analysis in support of the company’s proteomics research.