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Former GE Healthcare Director, Per Foss Appointed CEO for HUNT Biosciences Biomarker Validation Specialists Step up Commercial Activities as HUNT III Cohort Recruitment is Completed


4/23/2009 10:16:08 AM

LEVANGER, Norway, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- HUNT Biosciences, the commercial arm of the HUNT Study and associated biobank today announced the appointment of former GE Healthcare director Per Foss as its new CEO. The company provides pharmaceutical and healthcare companies with biomarker discovery and validation services. These are based on the unique HUNT Study, which for the past 25 years has gathered blood samples from the general population of the Nord-Trondelag region together with detailed phenotype and environmental data. Foss joins just as recruitment for the third phase, HUNT III has closed, again with an astonishing high inclusion rate of 60%. This will bring the total recruitment number of unique individuals to 135,000 and reinforce the core strengths in key public health areas such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obstructive lung disease, osteoporosis and mental health. More than 60 % of the participants have been screened twice, 25 % have participated in all three surveys.

"For both pharmaceutical and biotech companies, HUNT Biosciences is ideally positioned to devise biomarker strategies across a wide range of key disease areas," says Foss. "The unique combination of biomedical and phenotypic information collected over the past 25 years from a general population rather than specific cohort promises rapid and effective biomarker discovery and validation."

The HUNT Study operates as a satellite to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) . Per Ivar Maudal, Executive Director for innovation and industrial relations at NTNU and chairman of the board of HUNT Biosciences, welcomes the appointment: "For academic researchers HUNT already provides data on a large number of diseases observed in this general population. It has been validated by more than 45 completed PhD-degrees and several hundred ongoing or completed research projects with particular emphasis on major disease areas such as type II diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, cardiovascular, kidney and lung diseases, We believe HUNT Biosciences provides an efficient and ethical vehicle for industry to access this data and can lead to the development of new diagnostics and therapeutics for benefit of both the Norwegian and international healthcare systems."

CONTACT: Corporate Inquiries: Per A Foss, CEO, HUNT Biosciences AS,
Mobile: +47-95124048, Email: per.a.foss@huntbiosciences.com; Media
Inquiries: Richard Hayhurst, Hayhurst Media, Tel +44(0)7711821527, Email:
richard@hayhurstmedia.com



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