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Oxford Molecular Execs Consider Sale of Company, GCG’s Devereux Retires

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XFORD, UK--Executives at Oxford Molecular have acknowledged that they and their advisors, Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette International, are considering a sale of the company. The company last month announced 1999 losses of £26 million and plans to cut 55 jobs.

James Hiddleston, a company director here, told BioInform that Oxford Molecular’s bioinformatics business has been expanding and that a new strategy calls for concentrating resources on development of drug discovery software.

Anthony Grass, vice-president for marketing and communications, added that although a sale of the company is one option being considered, it is not a preferred strategy. "The real story is we are concentrating on life sciences and pharmaceutical markets and we are consolidating to do that better," he said.

Toward that end, Hiddleston said that Oxford Molecular’s UK bioinformatics staff has been relocated to Madison, Wis., the headquarters of Genetics Computer Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Oxford Molecular.

John Devereux, who founded Genetics Computer Group in 1982 and is considered a bioinformatics industry pioneer, recently retired. Matteo di Tommaso, who developed the company’s SeqStore data management product and previously headed database development at the European Bioinformatics Institute, has been appointed general manager. Devereux will continue to work as a consultant to the company.

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