Reflecting the changes taking place in the company, Paradigm Genetics changed its name on Wednesday to Icoria.

The company unveiled a new web site as well as its new stock symbol (Nasdaq: ICOR).

“The name Icoria was selected because it is what is known as an ’empty vessel’ name having no prior associated connotations,” Peter Johnson, executive vice president of life sciences and the chief medical officer, told Local Tech Wire. “It provides a company like ours with the ability to imbue the name with its own meaning.

“In our case, it will grow to imply not only our business focus as a
company applying systems biology to serve our customers and ourselves in the discovery and development of novel drugs and agrichemicals, but also all of the wonderful cultural values that we hold highly here.”

The company’s chief executive described the changes taking place at Paradigm as “transforming”.

“This change in our identity communicates two transforming developments in the life of our company,” said Heinrich Gugger, president and CEO of Icoria, in a statement. “The first is our evolution to an integrated systems biology company, providing access to large markets in both healthcare and agriculture. The second is the continued ascendance of our healthcare business, aided by the recent acquisition and successful integration of TissueInformatics.Inc. We are now well positioned to embrace expanded commercial opportunities in our two markets.”

The evolution of Icoria to focus on healthcare rather than just agriculture has taken place over a two-year period since Gugger took over as CEO. Icoria acquired Pittsburgh-based Tissue Informatics earlier this year in a stock deal worth $4.5 million. Icoria said it now has 30 customers compared to two before its transformation began and has 212 employees.

“This represents the culmination of a process of strategic change from a functional genomics company serving the agrichemical sector to a systems biology company conducting cutting-edge, product-focused discovery and development research in both healthcare and agriculture,” said Steven Burrill, chairman of the board, in a statement. “Icoria is a systems biology leader, unique in both the breadth of its core technology platforms and its ability to commercialize those technologies.”

The company’s services include:

  • Gene expression analysis services from Paradigm Array Labs

  • Tissue analysis for toxicology testing

  • Biomarker-enabled drug discovery
  • Icoria: