RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., March 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Biotechnology company Icoria, Inc, , announced today a number of changes to its board and senior executive staff. The changes are part of Icoria's realignment from an agricultural genomics company to a biomarker- enabled drug discovery company. The changes come in the wake of last week's transaction with Monsanto Company, whereby it purchased certain of Icoria's agricultural genomics assets.
Three board members have advised Icoria that they will resign or not stand for re-election at the company's May 11 annual meeting. They are:
- Robert M. Goodman, Ph.D., Board member since June 1998;
- Susan Harlander, Ph.D., Board member since May 2001; and
- Michael Summers, a Board member since March 1998.
"The board recognizes that the need for agricultural and nutritional experience is diminishing," said Steve Burrill, Chairman of the Board. "I thank our outgoing members for their years of service and considerable contributions."
To facilitate its realignment, Icoria has created an Office of the President, led by Heiri Gugger, President and CEO. Members of the Office of the President are:
- Keith Davis, Ph.D., currently Icoria's vice president of agricultural
biotechnology, who will oversee Icoria's agricultural commitments
during the transition; and
- Doug Morton, Ph.D., a member of Icoria's Board of Directors who is
currently Chief Executive Officer of Southwest Michigan Innovation
Center, a biotech incubator. Morton will play a leading role in
helping Icoria build its healthcare business.
"Doug's experience in healthcare and specifically in drug development while at Pfizer and Pharmacia will be extremely useful to Icoria as we reposition the business to focus on biomarker-enabled drug discovery," said Burrill. "The board appreciates Doug's willingness to assume this critical role during this important transition period."
Additional changes at the senior executive level include:
- Brett Farabaugh has been named Vice President, Finance. He was
formerly Senior Director of Finance, Chief Accounting Officer.
- Peter Johnson, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical
Officer, is leaving the company for personal reasons and to pursue
"Brett has quickly filled the vacuum of the top financial position at Icoria, building relationships with banks and institutional investors during a tumultuous time, and is a welcome member of our executive team" said Gugger. "We wish Peter well and will miss his entrepreneurial spirit."
Biographic and additional information on the personnel related to these announcements can be found on Icoria's Web site at http://www.icoria.com/.
Icoria, Inc. is a biotechnology company that uses gene expression, metabolomics and tissue feature profiling to identify biomarkers to accelerate drug discovery. In addition to its internal drug discovery program, the company provides services to clients in the pharmaceutical, biotech, agriculture, academic and public health research sectors, and has major contracts with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and Pioneer Hi-Bred International (a subsidiary of DuPont). Icoria also has a major grant from the National Institute of Standards & Technology's Advanced Technology Program. For more information, visit http://www.icoria.com/ .
This press release contains forward-looking statements including but not limited to Icoria's expectations for its drug development program. Such forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations and are subject to a number of risks, factors and uncertainties that may cause actual results, events and performance to differ materially from those referred to in the forward-looking statements. These risks, factors and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, Icoria's early stage of development, history of net losses, technological and product development uncertainties, reliance on research collaborations, uncertainty of additional funding and ability to protect its patents and proprietary rights. Certain of these and other risks are identified in Icoria's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2003 and in its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2004, each filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company does not intend to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this release to conform these statements to actual results or to changes in our expectations, except as may be required by law.