Great Basin Corporation Hires Key Executives to Prepare for Commercial Launch

Molecular diagnostics company expands employee roster in R&D, Sales and Marketing

SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Great Basin Corporation, formerly known as Great Basin Scientific, Inc., a privately held life sciences company developing novel, point-of-care molecular diagnostic solutions, today announced key appointments to its management team, including Sales, Marketing and R&D executives. These strategic hires—in addition to the company’s operational expansion into a new Salt Lake City headquarters—are supported by $12.1 million series A financing closed in 2010 and prepares Great Basin for the commercial launch of its rapid molecular diagnostic testing platform.

"The success of molecular diagnostics as a rapid and accurate method for diagnosing and treating infectious disease gives us enormous confidence in the market potential of our test platform,” said Ryan Ashton, president and CEO, Great Basin Corporation. “As we prepare to go to clinical trials with our first two products—providing more information per test at a lower cost than competitive offerings—these accomplished executives and R&D appointments will drive critical support for our breakthrough multiplex chip-based technology, positioning us for rapid commercialization in the United States and Europe and establishing Great Basin as the molecular platform of choice.”

Strategic Leadership Hires

The company, which recently moved its laboratory from Longmont, Colo., to its new 19,000 square-foot Salt Lake City headquarters location, is expanding headcount to support the company’s aggressive goals for R&D and menu expansion, including preparations for clinical trials and commercialization of the company’s MRSA ID and C. diff tests. In support of these goals, the company has made two key executive appointments: Andrew C. Olson, vice president of sales; and Sandra Nielsen, vice president of marketing.

As vice president of sales for Great Basin Corporation, Olson is responsible for establishing Great Basin’s international sales force and launching direct sales activities to prospective hospitals and medical centers. Olsen comes to the company from Signature Genomics in Spokane, Wash., where, as vice president of sales and marketing, Olson quadrupled company sales and helped increase top line revenue from $13.3 M to $20.8 million over two years. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Houston and a B.S. in molecular biology from Brigham Young University.

Nielsen joins Great Basin Corporation from Pearson PLC where, where she served as senior director of marketing for the Data Solutions business unit (formerly Edustructures). A seasoned marketing executive with more than 10 years experience in driving strategic marketing programs for high-growth organizations, Nielsen will spearhead the company’s global marketing efforts, including branding and communications, user experience, and product marketing.

Diagnostics and medical device veterans strengthen the R&D team

Brian J. Hicke, Ph.D., joins Great Basin Corporation as director of research. Dr. Hicke—who holds several patents related to Nucleic Acid Ligands—will direct the development of new multiplexed molecular diagnostic assays and assess new product opportunities and technologies. Prior to joining Great Basin, Dr. Hicke was an independent consultant working with ASDx Biosystems. Previously, he was chief science officer at Global Technologies Ltd. (NZ). Dr. Hicke's formal training includes undergraduate research in ATPase enzymology with Nobel laureate Paul D. Boyer at UCLA, and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder working in the lab of Nobel-laureate chemist, Thomas R. Cech.

Charles V. Owen, P.E., MBA, joins Great Basin Corporation as director of engineering, contributing his deep technical and medical device expertise to refine the design and manufacturing process for the company’s diagnostic system components. Owen brings broad experience from several medical device companies including roles as engineering manager at ICU Medical, Inc., and director of operations at Specialized Health Products. He received his MBA and Master of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering from Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

Wesley C. Lindsey, Ph.D., MBA, joins Great Basin Corporation as director of product development. Dr. Lindsey will be responsible for the development of IVD (In Vitro Diagnostics) assays from feasibility to FDA 510(k) clearance and market and for directing reagent manufacturing and quality control. Dr. Lindsey joins from Nanosphere, Inc., where he served as the associate director of Assay Development, Infectious Disease. He received his Ph.D. in Genetics and Molecular Biology from Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, and an MBA from Georgia State University.

Technology Advantages

Great Basin Corporation’s silicon-chip based technology is a simple, cost effective and powerful on-demand molecular diagnostic platform for the detection of nucleic acid and protein. The company’s highly sensitive, easy-to-use integrated cartridge system allows for more accurate detection and can be performed in a CLIA-rated moderately complex or waived laboratory, giving healthcare providers and their patients the benefit of rapid point-of-care test results at a fraction of the cost of other molecular diagnostic solutions.

Great Basin’s technology entails an integrated disposable cartridge containing all necessary reagents and an inexpensive bench-top analyzer that executes the assay, interprets the results and provides electronic output to the clinician. The platform has several key advantages over other molecular solutions:

  • Rapid results in under one hour, depending on the target of interest
  • On-demand testing; no batching of tests that delays results
  • Fully automated with no more than two to three hands-on steps
  • Multiplexes up to 64 distinct targets in a single assay

About Great Basin Corporation

Great Basin Corporation is a privately held life sciences company that commercializes breakthrough multiplex chip-based technologies for the molecular, rapid diagnostic testing market. The company is dedicated to development of simple, yet powerful, point-of-care technology and products that provide fast, multiple-pathogen diagnoses of infectious diseases. By providing more diagnostic data per sample, healthcare providers are able to treat patients with the right medication sooner, improving outcomes and reducing costs. The company’s vision is to make molecular diagnostic testing so simple and cost-effective that every patient will be tested for every serious infection, reducing misdiagnoses and significantly limiting the spread of infectious disease. More information can be found on the company’s website at


Great Basin Corporation
Sandra Nielsen, 1-801-990-1055 ext. 100
[email protected]
Bao Nguyen, 415-486-3232
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Utah

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Technology  Hardware  Health  Biotechnology  Clinical Trials  Genetics  Hospitals  Infectious Diseases  Medical Devices  Other Health  FDA