Orrie Friedman, a biotechnology pioneer who founded CollaborativeResearch Inc. in 1961, has stepped down as chairman of the board. Hewill remain at the Waltham, Mass., company as a director and seniorscientific officer.Robert Hennessey, who took over as president and CEO in March1993, replaced 79-year-old Friedman as chairman. The company alsoannounced its intention to change its name to Genome TherapeuticsCorp. to more accurately reflect its focus, which has been on moleculargenetics the past 10 years. The name change is contingent upon theapproval of shareholders, who are expected to vote on the action within10 weeks, Hennessey said.Hennessey told BioWorld that the Collaborative Research name willremain as a subsidiary of Genome Therapeutics with a concentration onthe grants and contracts business. Genome Therapeutics will focus oncommercial product applications.The company does both sequencing and mapping, with a focus in twoareas: infectious diseases, with an emphasis on resistant pathogens, andtherapeutic targets in the central nervous system, primarily manicdepression and schizophrenia."I believe that this company is strategically positioned now to becomea major factor in the burgeoning field of genomics, and willaggressively seek pharmaceutical alliances to translate the discoveriesof the Human Genome Project into significant commercialbreakthroughs in human medicine," Hennessey said.Friedman will be an adviser on the company's new Scientific AdvisoryCommittee, which is chaired by Philip Leder, who is the John EmoryAndrus Professor of Genetics and chairman of the Department ofGenetics at Harvard Medical School. He also is a senior investigator ofthe Howard Hughes Medical institute, and a director at CollaborativeResearch.
-- Jim Shrine
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