BALTIMORE--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- BioMarker Strategies announced today that it has appointed three new Directors, including Dr. Samuel Broder, who is a former Director of the National Cancer Institute and Chief Medical Officer at Celera; Dr. Mark Velleca, a founder and former Senior VP of CGI Pharmaceuticals; and, Dr. Paul Beresford, currently the Vice-President of Business Development at Biodesix and former VP of Translational Diagnostics at Ventana Medical Systems.
“We are honored to have these three individuals join our Board,” said Christy Wyskiel, Chairman of BioMarker Strategies. “Given his lifelong commitment to finding new approaches for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, we are eager to work with Dr. Broder to advance our proprietary SnapPath™ live-tumor-cell testing system,” said Ms. Wyskiel. “Dr. Velleca and Dr. Beresford also bring a deep knowledge of the cancer drug development and biomarker testing fields that will be of tremendous importance to the development of our next-generation biomarker tests to guide targeted drug therapy selection.”
“While the ‘omics’, such as genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, are all very important, functional biomarker tests derived from automated processing of live pathology specimens provide a novel approach to predict patient response to targeted drug therapy, including drug combinations,” said Dr. Broder. “This live tumor cell testing approach has the potential to transform the field of oncology and enable personalized medicine for cancer patients.”
About Samuel Broder, M.D.
Dr. Broder served as the Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Celera from 1998 to 2010. He is a physician-scientist with special expertise in the relationship between disorders of the immune system and cancer. His current interests relate to applying knowledge of the human genome, comparative genomics, and proteomics to the development of new diagnostics and therapeutics.
Dr. Broder began his research career in the Metabolism Branch of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 1972. Following the onset of the AIDS epidemic, Dr. Broder’s laboratory was instrumental in developing several of the first drugs now widely used in the therapy of AIDS and its related disorders, including Retrovir® (AZT), Videx®(ddI), and HIVID®(ddC)—the first three antiretroviral agents approved by the FDA. He also oversaw the development of several other agents used to treat cancer, such as TAXOL®.
In 1989, President Ronald Reagan named Dr. Broder Director of the National Cancer Institute. Under his leadership, the NCI initiated a number of important large-scale human trials in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. Dr. Broder is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He is also the author of more than 300 scholarly papers, and holds numerous patents. He received his bachelor’s and M.D. degrees from the University of Michigan.
About Mark Velleca, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Velleca is currently Senior Advisor at Gilead Sciences, Inc. Previously, he was Founder & Senior Vice-President at CGI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Dr. Velleca was instrumental in building CGI Pharmaceuticals, both scientifically and operationally, from a technology-based start-up into a drug discovery company that developed kinase inhibitors for oncology and autoimmune/inflammatory disease. He played a pivotal role at CGI: raising three rounds of venture capital, establishing a major strategic partnership with Genentech, and closing an acquisition by Gilead for $120 million. Dr. Velleca also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of BioRelix and is an adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Laboratory Medicine at Yale Medical School.
Prior to CGI, Dr. Velleca was an Attending Physician at Yale-New Haven Hospital and was on the faculty of Yale Medical School where he was awarded an NIH Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award. A board-certified clinical pathologist, he completed clinical training at Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he served as Chief Resident, and did postdoctoral research in Cell Biology and Immunobiology at Yale Medical School. Dr. Velleca earned a B.S. Cum Laude from Yale University and is a graduate of the Medical Scientist Training Program at Washington University in St. Louis, receiving an M.D. and a Ph.D. in the neurosciences.
About Paul Beresford, Ph.D.
Dr. Beresford is currently the Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Marketing at Biodesix. His expertise includes leading groups that provide products and services to oncology-focused drug companies for identifying and commercializing companion diagnostics. Prior to joining Biodesix, Dr. Beresford held a number of senior management positions at Ventana Medical Systems and Roche Diagnostics (after the acquisition of Ventana by Roche in early 2008) including Vice President, General Manager of Translational Diagnostics. He received a Ph.D. in Immunology from the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts University School of Medicine and was an Instructor and Junior Investigator at the Center for Blood Research at Harvard Medical School.
BioMarker Strategies (www.biomarkerstrategies.com) is a cancer diagnostics company that is developing a novel biomarker testing system to improve the treatment of cancer. SnapPath™ incorporates an automated and proprietary live-tumor-cell processing device with first-in-class, ex vivo biomarker tests to predict patient response to targeted cancer therapeutics, including drug combinations. In SnapPath™, live tumor cells obtained from fine needle aspiration and other biopsies are stimulated to generate a proprietary Functional Signaling Profile (FSP™) of the signal transduction network. Such functional profiles, which cannot be generated from fixed tissue, are the foundation for next-generation predictive tests for targeted therapy selection. The company, which is located at the Johns Hopkins Science + Technology Park in Baltimore, was named one of the “Top 20 Most Promising Startups in the U.S.” in 2010 by the Thomson-Reuters Venture Capital Journal. SnapPath™, which is supported with funding from the National Cancer Institute, is being designed as a platform for companion diagnostics to enable personalized medicine for patients with breast, lung, pancreatic, melanoma, colon and other solid-tumor based cancers.
Some of the information in this release contains our projections or other forward-looking statements regarding future events. We wish to caution you that these statements are only predictions and actual events or results may differ materially. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual future results and trends may differ materially from what is forecast in forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors. Forward-looking statements included herein are made as of the date hereof, and we undertake no obligation to update publicly such statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances. Actual results could differ materially from anticipated results.
Scott Allocco, President, 410-522-1008
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