Former Myriad Genetic Labs President Gregory C. Critchfield, M.D. Tapped to Oversee Sera's Molecular Diagnostics Strategy
Mark J. Ostrowski Appointed to Lead Company as President and Chief Executive Officer
SALT LAKE CITY, April 19, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sera Prognostics, Inc., a women's health company developing diagnostic tests for early prediction of preterm birth and other pregnancy complications, today announced that Board member Gregory C. Critchfield, M.D. will expand his role and become Executive Chairman and Mark J. Ostrowski was hired to lead the management team as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Both will assume the posts previously held by co-founder Dennis B. Farrar, Managing Director of the seed fund UpStart Ventures, as part of the planned transition to an experienced operations team to take the company forward.
Dr. Greg Critchfield served as President of Myriad Genetic Laboratories between 1998 and 2010, where he successfully led the company's growth to become one of the world's leading molecular diagnostic companies. "Sera has a tremendous opportunity to enable physicians and payers to combat the significant health risks and costs associated with preterm birth," said Dr. Critchfield. "Having joined the Sera Board last year, I am excited to work more closely with the Sera management team to bring further innovation and personalization to pregnancy care."
As President and CEO, Mark Ostrowski will be responsible for overseeing Sera's commercialization plan for its proprietary preterm birth test. Mr. Ostrowski brings over 19 years of experience in the molecular diagnostics and clinical laboratory industry, having held key management positions for industry-leaders DIANON Systems, Myriad Genetics and Perlegen Sciences. "Healthcare providers seek objective and personalized data for their patients and this continues to be an unmet need in accurately assessing a woman's individual risk of preterm birth," commented Mr. Ostrowski. "Sera is currently translating its novel, published biomarker technology into a commercial test to provide that early and objective assessment of risk. Sera's test is designed to help physicians better predict and manage at-risk pregnancies earlier in the process with the ultimate goal of delivering healthier babies."
Since completing a $1.4 million Series A-1 financing in October, Sera announced that data from a study of predictive preterm birth biomarkers was published in the peer-reviewed journal American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology in November 2010 and data from a second study was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine in February 2011. During the first quarter of 2011, Sera began recruiting patients in a clinical study at Intermountain Healthcare hospitals in Salt Lake City. This clinical study will provide serum samples longitudinally collected during pregnancy. Results from this and other planned studies will be used to support the translation of Sera's proprietary technology into a commercial format.
About Preterm Birth:
Of the 4.5 million births per year in the U.S., approximately 1.2 million are considered to be at high-risk of preterm birth, and approximately one in eight babies, or 12 percent, are born premature each year. Preterm birth is the leading cause of illness and death in newborns and is associated with a significantly increased risk of major long-term childhood medical complications including learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, chronic respiratory illness, mental retardation, seizures and vision and hearing loss. According to a study by the March of Dimes, the annual public healthcare cost of caring for preterm infants in the U.S. is over $26 billion. Additional lifetime costs for children with preterm birth-related medical complications are estimated at approximately $500,000 per child.
About Sera Prognostics, Inc.
Sera Prognostics is a private biotechnology company developing diagnostic tests that use proprietary biomarkers that are predictive of preterm birth and other pregnancy complications. Sera was founded in 2008 and licensed its serum proteomics discovery technology and novel peptides from Brigham Young University and the University of Utah. The Company has assembled a Board of Directors and management team with significant clinical development and women's healthcare diagnostic experience for translating scientific innovation into commercial products that help patients and build significant corporate value. Sera is located in Salt Lake City, Utah; for more information, please visit the Company's website at .
CONTACT: Company Contact: Andrew Sauter Sera Prognostics - CFO firstname.lastname@example.org (925) 367-4042 Media Contact: Terri Clevenger Continuum Health Communications email@example.com (203) 227-0209