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Changes are afoot at Incyte Corporation. The biotech company is fighting to win back investors who lost interest when the race to map the human genome proved better at generating headlines than yielding products to sell. Incyte, which had invested heavily in genome research, is attempting to shift its focus to the development side of the R&D model. And in December, Incyte bid farewell to general counsel Lee Bendekgey and welcomed Patricia Schreck, 50. As an undergrad, Schreck majored in chemistry at the University of Colorado, but then went to Villanova University Law School. She has spent her career counseling drug companies, from giants like SmithKline Beecham to Elan Drug Delivery, Inc., a King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-based subsidiary of the Irish drug manufacturer Elan Corporation, plc. In addition to her work as chief patent counsel at Elan Drug, Schreck has served as general counsel to diaDexus, Inc., a San Francisco-based joint venture between Incyte and SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline) established in 1997, and Genomics Collaborative, Inc., of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Following Incyte’s 2003 earnings report � which included a sales drop of almost 54 percent from 2002 � the company announced in February that it was shuttering its gene information division in Palo Alto in April. The corporate headquarters moved from Palo Alto to Wilmington. The company laid off almost 60 percent of its workforce and projects a savings of $50 million. Palo Alto-based Diana Hamlet-Cox, vice president of intellectual property ["Biotech Boomers," September 2003], will also be leaving Incyte, according to Schreck. Bendekgey, who joined the company as general counsel in 1998, left to pursue other interests, according to an Incyte press release announcing Schreck’s appointment.

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