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People & Products: Jul 27, 2000

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•   CuraGen said that it hopes that its new subsidiary, 454, will deliver its first product to market sometime in 2001.

While Christopher McLeod, executive vice president at CuraGen of New Haven, Conn., declined to comment on the specific products 454 would offer, he said it was reasonable to assume that the technology would be designed for proteomics or genotyping and would combine a mixture of hardware and software.

“In this day, all technology has both hardware and software components,” said McLeod.

McLeod added that CuraGen expects to appoint a chief executive for 454 in the near future. The subsidiary will employ less than 12 people in the first stage of operations.

Curagen owns 60 percent of 454, while outside investors including Soros Fund Management own the remainder.

•   Genomic Solutions has announced the promotion of its UK operations director Bill Stevenson to vice president of global manufacturing.  Stevenson will now be responsible for the companies manufacturing facilities in Ann Arbor and Lansing, Mich., and Huntingdon, UK.

•   MiraiBio, the life sciences subsidiary of Hitachi Software Engineering America, has created two new bioinformatics tools.

DNASpace, released in June is an automated desktop sequencing software.

“We like to think of it as the bioinformatics operating system for the Windows desktop,” Ryan Yip, MiraiBio’s product marketing manager said.

The software is made of modular programs that can each be customized for particular genetic analysis.

With the point and click of a mouse, said Yip, the modules can be arranged in linear or branching workflows. Users can set protocols to filter out candidates at each step.  MiraiBio of Alameda, Calif., has not yet received any orders for the software, which sells for $3,000 per user.

A unit of the US Defense Department has, however, already agreed to buy CHIPSpace, MiraiBio’s DNA microarray data management tool, said Yip.

CHIPspace, which is not available until mid-August,  runs on Windows NT and can be accessed from any computer on the customer’s local network.

Although DNA chips often come with analysis software included, Yip said data management was often missing in a lot of the competitions’ programs.

The cost of the software is $25,000 for five users.

•   Geneticist Jeffery R. Shuster has moved from Novo Nordisk Biotech to Paradigm Genetics of Research Triangle Park, NC, as director of microbial research. Shuster will be responsible for directing efforts to identify gene function in several microbial organisms.  Paradigm uses high throughput genomic technologies to determine complete gene function in these organisms.

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