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Disease Detection Will Consolidate Work in Irvine

October 15, 1987|JOHN TIGHE | Times Staff Writer

Disease Detection International said it has eliminated its research and development facility in Burlington, N.C., and will consolidate operations at its corporate headquarters in Irvine.

The move will eliminate six positions, including vice president of research and development, vice president of finance and the four North Carolina-based research and development posts.

President H. Thad Morris said he plans to name a new research and development chief and add six new workers in Irvine over the next year. He said Disease Detection's treasurer, Charles E. Peach, will take over responsibility of the company's financial duties. Locally, the company employs 11 workers, including six in research and development.

Morris said the company, which develops test kits that detect infectious diseases in humans and animals, expects to introduce four products for clinical studies in the first half of 1988. It also will continue the work of the North Carolina facility, which was involved in research programs for the development of products that detect diseases most common in Third World countries.

The consolidation will save about $30,000 a month and speed product development, Morris said. In 1986, the company reported a net loss of $343,000.

"My job is to get products to market. That requires 120% of workers' time," said Morris, who became president of Disease Detection in September. He replaced former Interior Secretary James G. Watt, who remains as chairman of both Disease Detection and its part-owner, Environmental Diagnostics.

Disease Detection's Burlington workers divided working time between Disease Detection and Environmental Diagnostics, which spun off Disease Detection in a public offering earlier this year and still maintains 26% ownership.

Environmental Diagnostics, which moved from Irvine to Burlington in 1986, is expected to retain most of Disease Detection's former employees, Morris said.

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