Digene President Resigns
Charles M. Fleischman, Digene Corp’s president, COO, and CFO, is resigning from those positions as well as from the company’s board of directors. His resignation as CFO was effective October 1, when he was succeeded by Joseph P. Slattery, who was formerly Digene’s senior vice president, finance and information systems. The other resignations will be effective October 31. According to the company’s press release, it is not contemplated that the positions of president and COO will be filled. The nominating and corporate governance committee of the board of directors is overseeing a search for a new CEO. Digene’s chairman and CEO, Evan Jones, will continue in that role until a new CEO has been named.

Exagen Announces Appointments
Thomas Williams, PhD, has been named chief scientific officer and vice president, research and development, of Exagen Diagnostics Inc. He will spearhead the company’s scientific strategy, including genomic marker validation, product-development functions, and collaborative relationships with key customers.
“Tom’s extensive record of accomplishment in clinical molecular diagnostics, molecular genetics research, and clinical research makes him the ideal person to direct our scientific efforts as we bring our products to market,” says Exagen CEO James McClintic.
Prior to joining Exagen, Williams was vice chairman, department of pathology, at the University of New Mexico (UNM) School of Medicine and director of the Genetics and Cytometry Division at TriCore Reference Laboratories, a regional medical laboratory affiliated with UNM Health Sciences Center and Presbyterian Healthcare Services. Williams will continue with UNM as part-time professor of pathology.
John Alsobrook, PhD, has joined Exagen as director, genomic marker discovery. He specializes in the planning and oversight of genomic-based diagnostic and pharmaceutical research and development, technical supervision, and data analysis.
Thomas O’Connor has been named vice president, sales. Prior to joining Exagen, he was business-development manager and North America sales manager for Beckman Coulter Inc. “Thomas has an outstanding record of sales success in the clinical diagnostics arena, and we welcome his expertise as Exagen prepares to launch its breast cancer products within the next year,” McClintic says.
Finally, Exagen has further expanded its staff with two new positions. Katharine Hawes has joined the company as director of manufacturing, and Catherine Michael has been named director of customer care. As director of manufacturing, Hawes oversees the company’s manufacturing and distribution departments and associated personnel; and in her role as director of customer care, Michael oversees employee training and technical service, and ensures the integrity of Exagen’s quality system.

HemoSense Executive Gets Larger Role in the Company
Timothy I. Still, HemoSense’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, has been named chief commercial officer as well. As the company’s chief commercial officer, Still will be responsible for global sales, marketing, and business-development activities. He will now oversee international as well as domestic customer relationships, and he will focus on expanding the company’s presence in new markets.
“Tim has played a key role in our success over the past 2 years. By building strong relationships with a premier set of distribution partners, Tim has helped us achieve 14 consecutive quarters of revenue growth and the number two market share position in the US professional market segment,” says Jim Merselis, president and CEO of HemoSense. “His experience and knowledge of the industry will be instrumental in developing and carrying out our strategy to increase point-of-care and home testing of blood-coagulation levels with our INRatio® system. His previous experience with international business development and marketing will serve us well in his enhanced role with the company.”

Still has been HemoSense’s executive vice president of sales and marketing since June 2004.

Tang Heads New Group at Olympus
Olympus America has combined its Scientific Equipment Group, Diagnostic Systems Group, and Life Science Business Development unit to create a new Life Science Group. The move is designed to align the company’s organization with that of other Olympus entities worldwide and to prepare the corporation for a growing emphasis on translational research and personalized medicine over the next decade. Stephen S. Tang, PhD, currently vice president of Life Science Business Development, will take on a newly created position as group vice president and general manager, Life Science.
In his new position, Tang will oversee all operations of the Life Science Group, including US product and business development, sales, service, marketing, communications, and training. He will continue to report to Olympus America President and COO F. Mark Gumz.
“As we move into an era where we integrate traditional diagnostics and microscopy with genomic, proteomic, and Internet-based technologies, Stephen Tang is undoubtedly the leader we need to move us forward,” Gumz says. “He has a deep understanding of our laboratory and research markets, and he has the vision to help us develop our future as new technologies emerge in medicine.”
The Olympus Scientific Equipment Group markets microscopes, imaging systems, and solutions, and has the largest US market share in both clinical and educational microscopes. The Diagnostic Systems Group is a leading supplier of chemistry analyzers for large reference labs, and its blood-banking systems are used to oversee the safety of approximately 90% of the US blood supply.
“By linking our microscopy and diagnostics groups, we not only further strengthen each of these highly successful business units, but we also are better able to integrate emerging scientific developments to create products and services that help improve people’s lives,” Tang says. “We are looking into new technologies that enable better decision-making in drug development, and we are investing in genomics to be on the cutting-edge of personalized medicine, developing diagnostic and therapeutic solutions to help doctors predict and prevent disease.”

Verax Biomedical Inc Names James Lousararian CEO
Verax Biomedical Inc, developer of rapid tests for detecting bacterial contaminants found in blood cells and tissue, has announced the appointment of James Lousararian as CEO. He had been a consultant to the company since the fall of 2005.
Lousararian has extensive senior management experience in the medical device industry. Prior to joining Verax, he was president, CEO, and cofounder of AngioLink, a start-up venture in the field of wound management and interventional cardiology. Before that, he was vice president of ThermoRetec Corp, a Thermo Electron company.
“Verax Biomedical truly has one of the leading platforms for detecting bacterial contamination in blood products and other cellular material,” Lousararian says. “I am thrilled to lead the Verax Biomedical team in aggressively pursuing growth strategies to build the company into a market leader.”
Verax’s Platelet PGD® test is designed to detect the presence of a broad range of clinically relevant gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial contaminants in platelets just prior to transfusion. The test is a single-use disposable device that requires minimal labor and provides a result in less than 30 minutes.

Sysmex Hires New Sales VP
Robert E. Degnan has been named vice president of sales for Sysmex America Inc. He is charged with the development, management, and guidance of the company’s US sales activities. His responsibilities include strengthening company marketing strategies, US-based account management, health-system sales, and sales support and training. His previous experience includes 23 years with Roche Diagnostics, where he was exposed to the Sysmex product portfolio through the Sysmex/Roche alliance.