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Incyte Releases Rat Gem 2, Cuts Target, Adds Staff

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PALO ALTO, Calif.--Incyte Pharmaceuticals released its second rat-specific Gem gene expression microarray, Rat Gem 2. The new product has more than 8,400 genes known to be active in the rat central nervous system, in addition to genes thought to be important in rat nerve functions. Researchers can use the data points resulting from Rat Gem 2 experiments to perform detailed, computer-based studies of human neurological disorders commonly modeled in laboratory rat studies, said Incyte.

In other news, Incyte's overall sales have been affected in part by ongoing litigation involving Affymetrix, causing Incyte to decrease its 1999 revenue goal to $170 million-$175 million, down from the previous target of $190 million. Affymetrix sued Incyte in September 1998 for patent infringement and the US Patent and Trademark Office has declared interferences between a number of pending patent applications between the two companies. The company still expects to report a loss of approximately $20 million for 1999, with plans to return to profitability in the second half of 2000.

Incyte has added James Merryweather as senior vice-president of client business management and Richard Johnston as senior Incyte fellow. Merryweather had previously been vice-president of program management at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and a project management director at Chiron. Johnston had been director of advanced research at Molecular Dynamics, a company that he helped found. He is coinventor of a number of platforms, including Molecular Dynamics' phosphoimager, the MegaBace Capillary Sequencer, and the microarray platform. In his new post Johnston will focus mainly on advanced research in microarray applications.

Incyte also announced that Denise Gilbert will retire as executive vice-president and CFO on May 31, in order to prepare to bicycle around the world next year. She will serve as an advisor and consultant to Incyte for the rest of the year.

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