Thursday, June 11, 2009

Celera cuts its last tie to Maryland biotech

It’s official, the end of an era. Celera Corp., once among the biggest biotech brand names in the Washington area, is shuttering its last remaining operation in the region.

The company, which moved its home base to Alameda, Calif., last year, is laying off 20 of its 25 local employees and closing its 41,000-square-foot operation in Rockville by the end of the third quarter.

A small number of employees working on lung cancer diagnostic tests could move to the West Coast, while only one or two employees might stay in Rockville.

In its heyday, Celera employed 550 people in the company’s 220,000-square-foot headquarters on West Gude Drive, making it one of the region’s biggest success stories as it raced to map the humane genome.

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