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Life science company names vice presidents of product development and system integration
BioNanomatrix, Inc., the developer of a nanotechnology-based single-molecule imaging platform for whole genome analysis, has established its new headquarters in San Diego. The company has moved into office and laboratory space in the University Science Center, located at 3545 John Hopkins Court along the Torrey Pines Mesa life science corridor. Founded by Dr. Han Cao, BioNanomatrix operated previously from offices in Philadelphia, Pa. since opening in 2007. Plans to expand to the West Coast were announced when the company closed a $23.3-million Series B round of equity financing earlier this year.
"Becoming part of the greater San Diego biotech community, where hundreds of life science companies and several world-class research institutions are located, places us in the midst of a critical mass of technology development and human capital that is driving our industry and will be part of our growth," said BioNanomatrix President and CEO Dr. R. Erik Holmlin.
"Expanding our team here will accelerate commercialization of our innovative platform," he said, noting that while a number of key employees are moving from Philadelphia to San Diego, the company's East Coast office will remain "an important site for ongoing research and development" of its systems in the field and support for users.
Life science, genomics industry leaders named to executive team
Dr. Holmlin, who assumed the president and CEO roles in January 2011, said that Todd Dickinson, Ph.D., was named vice president of product development and that Xing Yang, Ph.D., was named vice president of system integration, adding two recognized industry experts to the senior team.
Todd Dickinson, vice president, product development
Dr. Dickinson joins BioNanomatrix from Illumina, Inc., where he was one of the original founding scientists. As director of product development for Illumina's DNA Sequencing business, he led an international team of technical and commercial professionals in a major platform development effort. Prior to that, Dr. Dickinson served as Illumina's global segment sales director, establishing and growing a technical sales team focused on developing high-growth, emerging markets.
Dr. Dickinson also held a number of marketing roles of increasing responsibility: as Illumina's product marketing director, his teams carried out the commercial launches of more than 60 products in a two-year period. Earlier in his more than 12 years at Illumina, Dr. Dickinson led several different R&D programs, including the early development of the BeadChip array platform, one of Illumina's top revenue-generating product lines. Prior to Illumina, he was a research associate at Tufts University, where he received his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry. Dr. Dickinson has authored numerous scientific publications, and holds four issued patents and several pending patent applications.
Xing Yang, vice president, system integration
Dr. Yang is the co-founder of San Diego-based Epic Sciences, where he was vice president of technology, leading the development of genomic assays for studies of proprietary biomarkers on circulating tumor cells from cancer-patient samples. Previously, he was vice president of research for Helixis, Inc., a real-time PCR instrumentation company acquired by Illumina in 2010.
At BD Diagnostics-GeneOhm, where he was Dr. Holmlin's colleague, Dr. Yang was senior director of systems development, responsible for all R&D at the company's San Diego facility. He led the development of GeneOhm's ePlex platform, a multiplexed electrochemical detection system for molecular diagnostics. As a staff scientist at the California Institute of Technology, where he was awarded his Ph.D. in electrical engineering, Dr. Yang consulted on MEMS and microfluidics projects for many institutions. He began his industrial career at ACLARA BioSciences. Dr. Yang holds 15 issued patents and has 16 PCT applications pending.
Novel genomic technology, platform
"The experience and customer focus that Todd and Xing developed through their numerous executive roles will be key factors in attracting top talent to our world-class team as we accelerate the commercialization of the nanoAnalyzer System and drive its global adoption," Dr. Holmlin said.
"Our platform will complement and extend the reach of many existing genomics technologies by providing new capabilities for analyzing whole genomes, including direct measurement of large-scale changes in genome structure and order," he continued. "These variations, which are not easily addressed by tools available to researchers today, represent a critical missing link in the search for the underlying causes of disease at the genomic level. BioNanomatrix aims to enable researchers to close that gap."
Named in 2010 as one of 50 companies to watch by Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry, BioNanomatrix is developing and commercializing technologies for analysis of large biological molecules, such as nucleic acids, which are vital to life science research, clinical diagnostic applications and development of new therapeutics. The company’s products will provide users with the means to perform single-molecule analyses on minute biological samples that are essentially unattainable, too impractical or too costly to achieve using current technology. BioNanomatrix’s current development efforts include a NIST-ATP-funded project to sequence the human genome at a cost of $100, and the company has support from the National Institutes of Health.
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