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WebMD, DuPont Cut Ties

WebMD Corp. and DuPont Thursday terminated a strategic alliance while jointly announcing a new endeavor.

Presently the two companies are exploring opportunities for a collaboration in the food and nutrition area.

As part of the original five-year alliance, which began in March 1999, DuPont invested $220 million in WebMD to become the exclusive provider of life-sciences content, such as over-the-counter medicines, food and nutritional supplements.

If the agreement had continued, DuPont would have been entitled to share in revenues generated by WebMD's healthcare portals.

The change in the relationship is due to a restructuring, according to Martin J. Wygod, CEO, WebMD. "As previously announced, WebMD is reviewing its strategic relationships in light of several criteria which includes profitability, strategic relevance and the impact of future new revenue opportunities available to the company," he said.

"The termination of our agreement with DuPont is part of this effort," he concluded. "While we look forward to focusing our joint efforts with DuPont in the food and nutrition area, we are very pleased to eliminate all revenue-sharing arrangements and to have enhanced our control over the development of services for the pharmaceutical industry."