29 Nov OpGen recruits CEO to further gene-mapping business
Madison, Wis. — The biotechnology firm OpGen hopes its new CEO will draw investment to its work in gene mapping, the company said on Monday. R.H. Joseph Shaw is the former CEO of medical firms Quantech and Cathra International.
“I think Joe Shaw comes to OpGen with a good history of raising serious funds, and we hope he continues to do the same here,” said David Schwartz, one of OpGen’s founders and a professor of genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “He’s the first new CEO we’ve had in a while, and we expect he’ll do a great job.”
Shaw’s management experience includes serving as president of ’Bank On A Cure”, a global study project to work with myeloma-specific cancer patients. He has also been president of the AusAmerican consulting firm’s North American division and CEO of the Australian nanotechnology company Ambri Ltd.
Daniel Broderick, chairman of OpGen’s board of directors and managing director of the investment firm Mason Wells, said Shaw’s finance background makes him the ideal candidate for handling the day-to-day affairs of the firm.
“Joe has demonstrated his skill to work with analytical services and ability to finance a business,” Broderick said. “So far, the transition’s been seamless.”
Shaw said that what excited him the most about OpGen is their work in gene mapping, which he said is ahead of the market. The company’s optical mapping system is designed to map the human genome, using a single-molecule DNA analysis technique. The system has already contributed to several projects, including stem-cell mapping in collaboration with the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.
“We feel that OpGen provides a valuable technology that fills the genomic gap
between large DNA sequencing projects (whole genome, chromosomal, etc.) and single PCR reactions,” said Zachary Zimmerman, an analyst with Life Science Insights. “OpGen’s technology may help identify the genes that result in the variability of patient’s response to therapy. This information may lead to better and more successful treatment.”
Projects such as these excite Shaw because he sees them as having a real-world application with potential to contribute to overall health. He said that he sees OpGen as a growing firm that he can help make the transition into a fully grown company.
“What OpGen has found is that we have been looking at a map that has pieces missing … a map that you can fit the details into,” Shaw said. “It has terrific potential, and it’s important that we let everyone know what it can do.”
Les Chappell is a staff writer for WTN and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.