Next Gen Diagnostics, which is bringing whole genome sequencing to clinical microbiology, announced today that Brigitte Frankel, former head of the medical technology practice at Spencer Stewart, has joined its Advisory Board. During her distinguished career in executive search Ms. Frankel, who now leads executive consultancy Leopold-Frankel Associates, focused on C-level and Board placements for some of the Country’s foremost public life science enterprises, including Illumina, Quest and others. Her previous experience includes ten years selling capital equipment in the life science and diagnostics space for Agilent.
“Brigitte’s experience assisting the country’s foremost life science organizations build their teams at the highest level has given her not only a wealth of trusted connections but deep insight into what builds successful operating businesses,” said NGD CEO Paul A. Rhodes, Ph.D. “Brigitte’s expertise spans commercial functions, strategy, and Board governance and effectiveness across the life science industry. As we rapidly build NGD into a vertically integrated provider of sequencing services and pioneer sequence-based pathogen diagnostics, we need to assemble the industry’s most effective executive team; Brigitte’s capabilities will be invaluable in ensuring that we do that.”
NGD offers a complete pathogen service including extraction, library preparation, sequencing, and fully validated bioinformatic analysis, all provided at a price below that of a PCR panel. This is enabled by NGD’s complete automation of pathogen bioinformatics coupled with the cost advantages of NGD’s microfluidic sample preparation system. This proprietary system enables library preparation for up to 48 distinct strains to be processed in a disposable the size of a single plate, in a fully automated fashion. An instrument the size of a desktop computer replaces the dining table-sized robots used to automate sample preparation in competing services.
“NGD’s bioinformatic system was applied at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge in tandem with prospective sequencing to detect transmission and guide intervention, where it was documented to have stopped an outbreak,” noted Dr. Rhodes. “The low cost of the service makes prospective sequencing practical as the new paradigm for the detection of transmission and prevention of outbreak in hospitals, where transmission of drug resistant infection is such an appalling problem.”
“I am excited to be joining Next Gen Diagnostics’ advisory board as NGD advances accessible, low-cost whole genome sequencing to clinical practice in fighting the ominous spread of antibiotic resistance, which is projected to be a greater cause of death than cancer by 2050,” added Ms. Frankel. “We know that ease of use, low cost, and the rapid, user-friendly delivery of information truly relevant to patient care are all needed, and NGD’s system is designed to deliver that. I believe I can contribute as they assemble the team to execute this compelling mission globally.”
About Next Gen Diagnostics
NGD, founded by Dr. Paul A. Rhodes along with Sanger Institute group leaders, has built and validated world-leading automation of pathogen bioinformatics enabling high throughput low-cost clinical use of WGS. In addition, NGD holds the exclusive rights to a unique microfluidic sample preparation system for clinical and commercial applications of pathogen WGS. NGD offers a high volume turn-key sequencing service to enable detection of transmission in hospitals, and is working with leading collaborators in the US, Europe and Israel to be among the first to bring WGS-based regulated diagnostics to patient care. NGD is based in the US, with subsidiaries based in Cambridge, UK and in Israel.