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Millennium Launches Subsidiary to Develop Drugs with Genomics

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--Millennium Pharmaceuticals has launched a new subsidiary here, Millennium Predictive Medicine, that will use the company's genomics-based scientific and technology platform to develop genomics- and proteomics-derived products and services to diagnose, treat, predict, and prevent disease. The subsidiary, Millennium's second, will initially focus on two areas: pharmacogenomics and diagnomics.

"There is a compelling need for more efficient drug development and more effective patient management," claimed Kenneth Conway, the subsidiary's president. He explained that the new company "will use Millennium's genomics-based platform to develop a new generation of diagnostics to provide a better understanding of a patient's individual response to therapy, therefore providing custom-designed treatment." Conway came to Millennium from Chiron Diagnostics' Immuno Diagnostics unit, where he was senior vice-president and general manager.

The new subsidiary won't have its own bioinformatics capabilities, but will leverage off its parent's resources. "We have a massive and sophisticated bioinformatics effort in-house," noted a Millennium spokeswoman. Millennium Predictive Medicine currently has nine employees and expects to hire another 20-30 by the end of next year.

The subsidiary's pharmacogenomic efforts will include partnering with pharmaceutical companies to reduce the cost and time of clinical trials and accelerate the drug development process. Diagnomics efforts will include developing onocology, chemotherapy response prediction, cardiovascular disease, and central nervous system disorder products.

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