SAN DIEGO & REHOVOT, Israel--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nucleix, a liquid biopsy company revolutionizing cancer treatment by detecting the disease earlier, today announced the expansion of its operations into the United States and the appointment of new executive and board leadership to support future growth.
The company appointed Chris Hibberd as chief executive officer, Todd Myers as chief financial officer, and Eyal Miller as general manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and managing the company’s operations in Rehovot, Israel. Opher Shapira, Ph.D., has transitioned from CEO to become a strategic business advisor to the company. Mr. Hibberd and Mr. Myers have established Nucleix’s U.S. office in San Diego, where the company plans to open a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified lab to support development and commercialization of a test for early lung cancer detection. With the expansion, Thomas Buchholz, M.D., medical director at Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center, will join the company’s board.
“More than 90 percent of individuals who qualify for lung cancer examinations do not receive annual screening as recommended in medical guidelines.1 Providing an affordable blood test that screens these patients could increase compliance with imaging and help diagnose more patients early when survival rates are significantly higher,” said Erez Chimovits, partner at OrbiMed and lead investor of Nucleix. “Our team has demonstrated that it can advance testing options for high-risk populations with bladder cancer, and we are optimistic for this new opportunity under Chris’s leadership.”
Mr. Hibberd added, “The promise of liquid biopsy has been long discussed, but high-risk populations need solutions today that they can afford. By leveraging PCR-based epigenetics, with Nucleix’s deep understanding of methylation-based identification of cancer at its earliest stages, we have created a test with needed accuracy for those at high risk of developing lung cancer. I am excited to work with this proven team to advance this test, as well as other tests for additional high-risk populations.”
Mr. Hibberd joins Nucleix with over 20 years of diagnostics and biopharmaceutical experience in company formation, clinical and business development and commercialization. Prior to taking the helm of Nucleix, he was chief executive officer and co-founder of Astute Medical, where he managed a team and secured funding to support a product pipeline that included the launch of NephroCheck®, the first FDA cleared diagnostic for acute kidney injury risk, until its acquisition by bioMérieux. Prior to Astute Medical, Mr. Hibberd was senior vice president of corporate development at Biosite, where he managed business development activities that included cofounding Biosite Discovery, a world-class antibody capabilities collaboration, and Biosite’s $1.7 billion acquisition by Inverness Medical. Prior to that, Mr. Hibberd was a manager at The Boston Consulting Group and a development engineer at Albright & Wilson Americas. He obtained an MBA from the University of Western Ontario and a B.A.Sc. in chemical engineering from the University of Toronto.
Mr. Myers joins Nucleix with over 25 years of financial experience with both public and private companies. Prior to joining Nucleix, Mr. Myers was the chief financial officer of Astute Medical, which was acquired in 2018 by bioMérieux. While with Astute, Mr. Myers played a lead role in raising equity and debt capital to support the research, clinical/product development and commercialization of NephroCheck®, as well as taking a leading role in Astute’s M&A process. Mr. Myers was responsible for all financial and general & administrative activities at both Astute and its wholly-owned subsidiary in Europe. Prior to Astute, Mr. Myers was the chief financial officer at SGX Pharmaceuticals, a publicly-traded company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative cancer therapeutics, until its acquisition by Eli Lilly & Company. He was also the Director of Finance at CombiChem, Inc., a publicly-traded computational drug discovery company, which was acquired by DuPont Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Myers began his career as an auditor in the San Diego office of Ernst & Young and obtained a B.S. in accounting from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.
Mr. Miller joins Nucleix with 25 years experience in medical devices, IVD and pharmaceutical industries. Prior to Nucleix, he was vice president & head of the healthcare division at Stratasys, where he successfully launched a cutting-edge technology equipping hospitals and medtech companies with first-in-class anatomical 3D models. Prior to joining Stratasys, Mr. Miller was the chief executive officer at Common Sense, an IVD company focused on women's health. Prior to Common Sense, Mr. Miller was a senior director and GM Europe at Touchstone International Medical Science Co., where he launched a series of innovative medical devices in the gastrointestinal space. Mr. Miller obtained an M.A. in law from the College of Netanya, an MBA from the University of Darby in the United Kingdom and a B.S. in chemistry from Ben Gurion University.
Dr. Buchholz is medical director of Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he is responsible for directing all clinical activities and programs to ensure care is efficient, effective and supports the patient-centered mission of the program. He leads the development of clinical research activities within the program, including collaboration with MD Anderson clinical trials and other industry-sponsored and investigator-initiated trials. In addition to his leadership responsibility, Dr. Buchholz maintains a clinical practice focused on radiation oncology and breast cancer. He has made significant scientific and academic contributions over the course of his career, including having his breast cancer research published in more than 350 peer-reviewed journals and he has written 97 editorials, 48 invited articles and numerous book chapters. He is board certified by the American Board of Radiology and the National Board of Medical Examiners. He served a six-year term as the co-chair of the Breast Cancer Steering Committee of the National Clinical Trials Network of the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Buchholz spent 20 years in Houston at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He previously held a variety of clinical, research, academic and administrative leadership positions with MD Anderson, including division head and department chair of radiation oncology and serving as executive vice president and physician-in-chief. Dr. Buchholz earned his M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston and a B.A. in philosophy from Bucknell University.
Nucleix is a liquid biopsy company revolutionizing cancer treatment with earlier disease detection, at a time when intervention can bring the greatest impact for patients. Leveraging PCR-based epigenetics, our pioneering testing approach uses methylation-based identification for early-stage and recurring cancer detection. Our non-invasive EpiCheck® platform delivers highly accurate and sensitive results, all while providing a seamless testing option for patients and the healthcare system. We are building an EpiCheck franchise, beginning with our Bladder EpiCheck testing kit marketed in Europe for bladder cancer recurrence. We are advancing a Lung EpiCheck test toward commercialization for high-risk individuals, while advancing additional tests for high-risk diseases. For more information, please visit https://www.nucleix.com/.
1 Cancer. 2020 May 15;126(10):2250-2266. doi: 10.1002/cncr.32801. Epub 2020 Mar 12.