Diamond Industries: Agency Dossier

** Note: As personnel in the field report additional information, this resource will be updated accordingly. Check back here with your Web-enabled mobile devices frequently for additional intel if interested. - D.R.

Summary

Diamond Industries was founded in 1993 by a small executive team of entrepreneurs, research clinicians from the Tulane University School of Medicine, and former field and lab scientists from the CDC. Marketing their work as "next-generation applied biotech," Diamond almost immediately produced several innovative pharmaceutical and molecular-biology advances, quickly establishing themselves as a quiet, small, forceful player in fields from psychoactives and antipsychotics to blood agents to antiradiation drugs.

Those early patents were sold to larger firms at enormous gain, and by the turn of the century the company had repaid its shareholders in full and was operating at a profit - an unheard-of turnaround for a biotech research firm in a mere seven years, particularly notable because Diamond was producing largely or entirely new material. While a large portion of the company's research methods, facilities, practices and personnel information are held as trade secrets, some information is publicly available through eyewitness accounts. Also, disclosure by Diamond Industries themselves is not unheard of: they will often intentionally expose some aspect of their operations to increase their attractiveness while bidding for contracts to take on additional research grants.

As far as our analysts have been able to determine from all this semi-public information, Diamond's success in the field seems to stem from a synergy between incredibly talented researchers and clinicians, an incredibly solid business management and funding-acquisitions team, and a strong commitment to computational solutions: bioinformatics, proteome sequencing, and advanced nonlinear simulations help to stitch together the discoveries of their research department into reproducible analyses which can then be quickly processed into patentable new molecules or other intellectual property and sold to larger corporations. Diamond is a sleek, powerful, brilliant beast. Though rumors circulate of a darker side involving electronic or physical theft of rival researchers' discoveries, no charges have ever been brought against them - they may be very very good at industrial espionage, or they may simply be an easy target for jealous rumormongering; in either case, though, the brilliant and revolutionary work of Diamond Industries' labs and researchers cannot be denied.

Facilities

The company currently operates three research facilities in the greater New Orleans metropolitan area: their small corporate headquarters in downtown N.O. was the original facility, but almost all that real estate has been converted from R&D to administrative and accounting space, or rented off to other biotechnology firms - often at significant discount, which Diamond has leveraged to provide tax exemptions for "supporting academic research". The Baton Rouge Annex is the primary hub for company research efforts, information technology resources, and most of their current day-to-day operations. The Eden Isle facility just opened six months ago, and is a cutting-edge high-security research facility - its purpose and capacities are largely unknown, but publicly available business records regarding the site seem to indicate the establishment of a full-blown Clean Room environment, suitable for producing modern cutting-edge semiconductor microchips - or operating a negative-pressure CDC-style epidemiology lab.

In addition to these research and administrative sites, Diamond owns, leases or rents no less than twenty-five additional properties - fourteen storage garages with varying degrees of climate control and security, all close to one of the primary research sites; nine medium-stay apartment suites, rented month-to-month and used to house visiting investors, temporary researchers and other high-value contracted personnel; and two small parking structures, one near the Eden Isle facility and one in downtown New Orleans. Both of these last include a great deal of extra parking space beyond company requirements, and the extra spaces are traditionally rented out to private citizens to ameliorate the cost of maintaining the structures.

Persons of Note

Steering in business matters comes from their CEO, Thomas Rowland, whose connections helped bring the anonymous venture capital the firm needed to establish themselves - no easy task in the post-Bubble economy.

Chief Researcher Erin Montgomery is an established figure in the academic medical community, holding professor emeritus positions at several universities and schools of medicine, including Tulane. Her primary teaching and research domains are immunology, epidemiology and genetic disorders, and she spent several years working with the UNFPA and UNAIDS - it was during this work that her contacts with the CDC were made, and her knowledge of the field and its players has served as a major source for company recruitment.

Dr. Elena Melancon, Principal Researcher at the Eden Isle facility, holds a Ph.D in Bioinformatics from MIT, and more recently an M.D. in psychopharmacology from the University of Western Ontario. Snatched up by Diamond directly after completing her residency, Melancon has not published a great deal of specific or groundbreaking material; her aptitudes and research focus remain unclear. Her Ph.D thesis, however, which describes a new theoretical model for gene expression and deactivation, is required reading for all genetic and bioinformatics technicians at Diamond facilities.

Eden Isle Details <Speculative>

The only non-Diamond Industries employee ever seen entering or leaving the Eden Isle facility is Theresa Ballard, cousin and attorney to one S. Michael Owens, a published University of Arkansas researcher, specializing in pharmacology and toxicology. He has been involved some recent original research which may be of interest to a far-sighted company like Diamond.

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