Cambridge, UK 11 November 2014: Horizon Discovery Group plc (LSE: HZD) (Horizon), a leading provider of research tools to support translational genomics, through its Diagnostics Business Unit (Horizon Diagnostics), has today announced the formation of a new Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Drawing on key opinion leaders from both the clinic and industry, this SAB will recommend improvements needed in laboratories adopting Companion Diagnostic assays to improve patient care and suggest guidelines for assay standardization.
Horizon Diagnostics will utilize these guidelines to further evolve its strategy for personalized medicine, which has already delivered a suite of Molecular Reference Standards. These products are genetically defined, quantitative and highly reproducible, allowing for improved companion diagnostic development, performance and ultimately testing.
The SAB comprises experts in each of the four main molecular diagnostics testing fields of immunohistochemistry (IHC), Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), next-generation sequencing (NGS), and quantitative PCR (qPCR). Also joining the SAB will be Dr Paul Morrill (PhD), Senior Vice President, Products at Horizon Discovery Group, and Dr Karin Schmitt (PhD), R & D Director, Products at Horizon Discovery Group.
Dr Shashikant Kulkarni (PhD) is Director of Cytogenomics and Molecular Pathology, Medical Director, Genomics and Pathology Services (GPS), Associate Professor of Pathology and Immunology, Pediatrics and Genetics, and Program Director, Clinical Genomics Fellowship Training Program at Washington University School of Medicine at St Louis. Dr Kulkarni’s laboratory’s principal research interest is in delineation of novel genomic structural and single nucleotide variants in cancer. Dr Kulkarni uses genome-wide tools for comprehensive molecular characterization of genomic aberrations associated with cancer, including cytogenetics, FISH, chromosomal microarray (CMA), molecular barcoding and NGS.
Dr Regan Fulton (MD, PhD) is Attending Pathologist and Director of Contract Research, PhenoPath Laboratories. Dr. Fulton has extensive knowledge and experience in the use of diagnostic IHC, surgical pathology and quality assurance. He is active in expert consultation and surgical pathology, development and validation of new antibodies, and implementation of clinical research studies. Dr. Fulton currently serves on the College of American Pathologists IHC Committee, as well as the Workgroup for IHC Validation Guidelines.
Dr Ben Ho Park (MD, PhD) is Associate Professor of Oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr Park’s laboratory is focused on discovery and development of novel treatments for breast cancer. The lab is developing techniques to identify genes involved with hormonal and chemotherapeutic drug resistance, as well as analyzing the genetic effectors of growth and hormone receptor mediated breast carcinogenesis.
Paul Kinnon is CEO, Transgenomic. Paul has more than 20 years of global leadership experience in innovative life science and diagnostics companies. Paul has previously provided consulting services to Horizon Diagnostics, whilst a Partner at Arch Global Research. He was previously President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director of ZyGEM Corporation Limited, where he transformed the company from a regional enzyme provider into a leader in integrated microfluidic technologies for forensic and clinical diagnostic applications. He has also held leadership rolls within Invitrogen Corporation (now Life Technologies), and business, sales and marketing roles at Guava Technologies, Inc., Cellomics, Inc. as well as other life science companies.
Dr. Paul Morrill, Senior Vice President, Products, Horizon Discovery Group, commented: “We are pleased to announce the appointment of the new scientific advisory board for the Diagnostics Business Unit. Horizon Diagnostics is passionate about and committed to making a difference in cancer healthcare and we are delighted to have secured such eminent SAB members to further help reach the goal of better patient outcomes through better testing.
Horizon Diagnostics’ suite of Molecular Reference Standards offer a sustainable source of reference material to laboratories, proficiency schemes and manufacturers, providing an unprecedented level of control. The reference materials include standards for the increasing number of ‘rare’ mutations being targeted for cancer therapeutics, which by definition are hard to find in clinical samples.