BOSTON, Mass. and CAMBRIDGE, England – January 11, 2016 – The Board of Directors of Abcodia Ltd., a clinical stage company engaged in the commercial development of novel tests for the early detection of cancer, today announced the restructuring and expansion of its senior executive team to facilitate the rapid global commercialization of the ROCA® Test for ovarian cancer and tests for the early detection of other cancers.
The ROCA Test was used as part of a multimodal ovarian cancer screening assessment in the UK Collaborative Trial for Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS), a large prospective randomized controlled study of more than 200,000 initially cancer-free, postmenopausal women. Recent findings from the study published in The Lancet demonstrated that screening may reduce ovarian cancer mortality by an estimated 20 percent.
Nadia Altomare, currently President of Abcodia’s U.S. subsidiary, has been appointed CEO. Ms. Altomare has a proven track record in developing new markets for medical services and has been responsible for the U.S. commercial launch of the ROCA Test in December, 2015. She has proven successful in single and multi-product/service environments spanning from entrepreneurial startups to established Fortune 500 companies. She will continue to be based out of Abcodia’s U.S. headquarters in Boston.
Previously Ms. Altomare served as Vice President and General Manager of ThermoFisher Scientific (formerly Life Technologies), where she was the General Manager of the global human identification business. In this role, she oversaw a diverse professional team including sales, marketing, product management, R&D, technical support and validation services. Ms. Altomare also held leadership roles of increasing responsibility at PerkinElmer Inc., serving as the Vice President of North America Specialty Diagnostics and General Manager of their cytogenetic DNA testing business. Ms. Altomare was also Sr. Director of Commercial Operations at ViaCord (formerly ViaCell). In this capacity she led her commercial teams through several rounds of funding, merger, IPO, acquisition and eventual integration into PerkinElmer.
Dr. Julie Barnes, the founding CEO of Abcodia Ltd., has assumed the role of Chief Scientific Officer. In this capacity, she will be responsible for regulatory affairs, reimbursement strategy, medical affairs and governance. Additionally, she will lead the company’s research & development activities, using the UKCTOCS data and biobank assets to which Abcodia has exclusive commercial access. As the founding CEO, Dr. Barnes has led Abcodia through its first five years of growth, including two successful rounds of venture financing, in-licensing and early commercialization of the ROCA Test and establishment of global R&D collaborations leveraging the UKCTOCS biobank. Dr. Barnes will be based out of Abcodia’s UK headquarters in Cambridge.
Mr. Chris Poole joined as Chief Financial Officer. Chris has more than 20 years of finance experience, working in a variety of roles within small startup organizations as well as a FTSE 250 listed company. Most recently he served as Chief Financial Officer at Zinwave, a global company advancing in-building wireless coverage, where Chris was instrumental in its recent acquisition by McWane. Prior to this, he was Finance Director at Enecsys Limited. Mr. Poole also held the positions of VP of Finance and Head of Project Management at Ip.access Ltd. He also served as Financial Controller at UbiNetics and played a key role in the successful sale of the business in 2005 to Aeroflex Inc. and Cambridge Silicon Radio. Chris has a degree in Accounting and Finance from Nottingham Trent University and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers. He will be based out of the company’s UK headquarters in Cambridge.
Ms. Altomare and Dr. Barnes will remain as members of Abcodia’s Board of Directors and Mr. Poole will join the Board.
“These changes are a natural transition for Abcodia and we are confident that Nadia’s proven track record of accelerating the commercial growth of life sciences companies, business acumen and leadership qualities will be immensely valuable as Abcodia continues to expand rapidly,” said Andy Richards, Ph.D., Chairman of Abcodia’s Board of Directors. “Under Julie’s leadership as the founding CEO, the company has established a solid foundation by launching the ROCA Test and establishing a foothold in the early detection market. With international collaborations in place and Julie’s ongoing leadership and commitment as global CSO, I am optimistic that Abcodia is in a solid position to advance its early detection programs beyond ovarian cancer.”
Commenting on Ms. Altomare’s new role, Julie Barnes noted “Having worked closely with Nadia for nearly a year, I am really pleased that she has accepted the role of CEO. I am confident that her commercial experience and leadership will take the company to the next level. Our skills are very complementary and I look forward to our continued partnership.”
“I am delighted to become Abcodia’s CEO at this exciting period in the company’s development,” said Ms. Altomare. “I look forward to collaborating with Julie and Chris, and to working with healthcare professionals, women’s healthcare advocacy groups and medical societies to address the significant unmet need in the early detection of ovarian cancer. Additionally, I look forward to expanding Abcodia’s pipeline of proprietary early detection tests for other cancers.”
On his appointment of CFO, Mr. Poole stated: “I am excited to be joining Abcodia, a company with a great opportunity to grow and make a difference, supported by its highly experienced investors, board members and Nadia, Julie and other members of the executive leadership team.”
Abcodia is a clinical stage company engaged in the commercial development of novel, validated tests for the early detection of cancer. The Company’s first product is the ROCA Test for the early detection of ovarian cancer, and it is also expanding its pipeline of early detection technologies for lung, colorectal and pancreatic cancer. Abcodia’s offerings are based on expertise in measuring and modelling dynamic changes over time of serum-based biomarkers before cancer is clinically diagnosed, and it maintains exclusive commercial access to a biobank of 5 million samples donated from 200,000 individuals over a 10-year period. Abcodia holds strategic collaborations with leading global organizations including Cancer Research UK, University College London and other academic and industry partners. Abcodia is a privately held company funded through investments from Albion Ventures, Cambridge Innovation Capital, Scottish Equity Partners and UCL Business. Headquartered in Cambridge, U.K., the Company has operations in Boston, Mass. and a clinical laboratory in Memphis, Tenn. For more information, visit www.abcodia.com.
About the ROCA® Test
Abcodia’s first product, the ROCA Test indicates a woman’s likelihood of having ovarian cancer. The ROCA Test is intended for postmenopausal women aged between 50 and 85, or for certain women between 35 and 85 years of age who are considered to have a higher risk due to family history of ovarian or breast cancer or genetic mutations in, for example, the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. The ROCA test has been evaluated as part of a multimodal screening strategy in several prospective clinical trials in both the U.K. and U.S. involving more than 215,000 women over the past 15 years. The results of those studies show that the ROCA Test, when used with appropriate transvaginal ultrasound as the follow up test, has a higher performance than other currently available methods that have been evaluated prospectively in healthy women. In the clinical studies, the ROCA Test detects the majority of ovarian cancer cases before the first signs or symptoms of ovarian cancer appear. The ROCA Test is CE marked and is currently available in the private healthcare market in the U.K. The ROCA Test became available as a service from Abcodia’s testing laboratory, in select U.S. markets in December 2015, and it will become available in additional U.S. states throughout 2016. For more information visit therocatest.co.uk or rocatest.com
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